The Cairo Jazz Factory
babelmed - 30/10/2008
Cairo will host for the first time a unique celebration of European and Arabic music. The Jazz Factory is an initiative by the European Commission's Delegation to Egypt, together with the Embassies of Spain, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Italy, the United Kingdom and France in cooperation with the Egyptian Tourist Authority and the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. Culture Resource (Al Mawred Al Thaqafy) has been asked to help with the organization of the festival, and will furthermore support and organize the participation of a number of distinguished musicians from the Arab region in the festival.
Music is arguably today the most popular form of artistic expression. It is also a form that offers opportunities for exchange of ideas, skills and traditions, not only among the musicians who make the music but also among audiences. Music has always represented a “live” connection between the Arab region and Europe, with music tunes, themes and instruments traveling in both directions over the years. Jazz is both a music form and a term that is used loosely all over the world to describe music that is based on improvisation and instrumental skill. Jazz has taken so many forms, flavors and accents in the past few decades that the term is now used to describe almost any kind of music creation that attempts to cross over the conventional music classifications.
The Jazz Factory will include highly accomplished music groups and musicians from eleven European countries as well as groups from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco and Palestine. The concerts will be spread over diverse venues in Cairo including Manial Palace, Manesterly Palace, Amir Taz Palace, El Genaina Theatre, The Arabic Music Institute, and Sawy Cultural Wheel.
The programme of the festival was developed by its artistic director, Peter Lipa from Slovakia and with advice by Fathy Salama, the festival’s artistic advisor. The Jazz Factory will feature groups that play a very diverse range of musical styles; from traditional jazz to jazz flamenco, oriental jazz, Afro Cuban jazz, experimental jazz and more.
The Program features the afro Cuban jazz musician Nardy Castellini (Spain) who will be performing with Nubian Musicians, Wolfgang Haffner (Germany), the Egyptian Grammy Award winner Fathy Salama and Sharkiat. The program also includes many well know groups that perform in Egypt for the first time such as: the Olah Kalman Trio (Hungary), Štěpán Markovič Quintet (Czech Republic), Carlo Actis Dato Group (Italy), Jerez Texas (Spain), BSB Trio (The Netherlands), Radio String Vienna Quartet (Austria), Andre Ceccarelli Trio (France), The Peter Lipa's Slovak-Arab Connection (Slovak Republic), and the pianist Alex Wilson (UK). Norway will present three groups led by the well known trumpeter and pianist Nils Petter Molvaer, the saxophonist Trygve Seim with the accordionist Frode Haltli and Jon Balke the composer who will be performing with the Siwan group that features the Moroccan singer Amina El Alawi. The festival will also include two concerts by the Lebanese jazz composer Toufic Farroukh and the composer and oud player Charbel Rouhana, also from Lebanon. The Arab musicians and groups will also include: Huda Asfour and Nizar Rohana (Palestine), Hisham Bajjou, Foulane Bouhssine and Khalid El Barkaoui (Morocco), and Nayssam Galal, Jihad Jazbeh, Chams Ismael and George Oro (Syria). In addition to Sharkiat, Egypt will be represented by the Akram Sharkawy group, El Dor El Awal and ِAhmed Al Sawy (ZAD).
Every evening, throughout the 10-day festival, there will be concerts that feature 3 or 4 of these groups, aiming to attract a wide audience of young Egyptians, as well as visitors to Cairo and tourists. A fringe jazz program that starts at 11 PM will be presented under the title "After Hours".
The Jazz Factory is sponsored by Emaar, Orascom for Hotels & Development, ITC Group, and Galaxia Tours.The Jazz Factory is organized and supported by Delegation of the European Commission in Egypt, Culture Resource (Al Mawred Al Thaqafy) and the Embassies of Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.