Top line-up of international stars set for Cairo jazz festival

Updated 03 October 2019

Top line-up of international stars set for Cairo jazz festival

DUBAI: Top musicians from around the world are tuning up for the start of this year’s popular Cairo Jazz Festival.

The event, being staged at The American University in Cairo’s (AUC) Tahrir Cultural Center from Oct. 10-12, will celebrate its 11th edition with an exciting line-up of stars from nine different countries.

Festivalgoers will be able to watch movie screenings, musical shows, and jazz concerts for all ages.




The event will take place at The American University in Cairo’s Tahrir Cultural Center from Oct. 10-12. (Cairo Jazz Festival)

Headline acts will include the Fischermanns Orchestra from Switzerland, award-winning Dutch drummer Lucas van Merwijk, Netherlands-based Artvark Saxophone Quartet and Arab artists such as Jordanian musician Aziz Maraka, Egyptian band The Gypsy Jazz Project, and rock group Wust El-Balad.

Fischermanns Orchestra is always on the move, musically free and footloose, drawing upon many different cultural influences and inspiration to form its own distinctive sound. In 2014, the group was honored with the Lucerne Jazz Award.

Merwijk has been at the forefront of the European jazz and percussion scene for more than 25 years. He teaches at the conservatories of Rotterdam and Amsterdam and gives workshops, masterclasses and lessons throughout Europe and America.

The Artvark Saxophone Quartet has made remarkable collaborations with American jazz legend Peter Erskine, Senegalese drummer Doudou Rose and Danish rock band Efterklang.




Ticket are priced from $12 to $41. (Cairo Jazz Festival)

Jordanian music composer, songwriter, singer and producer Maraka is expected to sing some of his popular jazz hits. Maraka is known for his eclecticism, with music ranging from acoustic piano and violin combinations to purely electronic tracks.

Cairo-based band The Gypsy Jazz Project will perform pieces influenced by the melodies of Belgian guitarist Django Reinhardt and French violinist Stephane Grappelli.

Meanwhile, Wust El-Balad’s tracks produce an astonishing blend of sounds, combining traditional Arabic music with a Western twist.

The festival will also offer opportunities for children with several workshops and masterclasses aimed at providing an introduction to the art of jazz and its storied history.

While most of the events will take place at the AUC, there will be fringe concerts and activities happening around the city, including the Cairo Jazz Club.

Ticket are priced from $12 to $41 and can be purchased at ticketsmarche.com.


Film review: ‘Parkour(s)’ takes obstacle course through class conflict

The sport of parkour forms the backdrop of this Algerian film. Supplied
Updated 08 December 2019

Film review: ‘Parkour(s)’ takes obstacle course through class conflict

  • Fatma Zohra Zamoum’s “Parkour(s)” is set in a small city in Algeria
  • It screened at the recent Cairo International Film Festival

CHENNAI: The fast-paced sport of parkour — or negotiating obstacles in an urban environment by running, jumping and climbing — forms the backdrop of this Algerian film.

Fatma Zohra Zamoum’s “Parkour(s)” is set in a small city in Algeria, and it seems that the director has used the title to convey the kind of histrionics her characters indulge in. Take, for instance, Youcef (Nazim Halladja) — a sportsman playing parkour — literally cartwheeling through the urban landscape. His reckless antics also include threatening people with a gun and pleading with would-be bride Kamila (Adila Bendimered) to ditch her future husband, Khaled, (Mohamed Bounoughaz). 

The movie, which screened at the recent Cairo International Film Festival, unfolds during a day and takes us to the wedding and the assorted group of men and women gathered there. As we see these people making their way toward the occasion, we get to see that they are all motivated by different pulls and pressures.

The film unfolds during a day and takes us to a wedding and the assorted group of men and women gathered there. Supplied

Youcef is there to try to persuade Kamila from walking up the aisle. The kitchen help is set to make an extra buck. However, other characters have not been written with much conviction.

Zamoun says in a note: “The multi-character drama shows how a normal situation turns into major clashes reflecting the conflict between classes, ideas and generations in Algerian society, whose youth try to take control of their lives. But they are surrounded by those who try to handcuff them.” 

The movie is not convincing on this count. For example, how is the bride — who willingly prepares for the wedding (that was my impression, anyway) — “handcuffed?” The same can be said for other characters we encounter.

What comes across loud and clear, however, is the class difference. No clarity is lost when Khaled gives money to Youcef to buy a “decent” suit for the wedding and he is offended by Khaled’s arrogance. Youcef makes no bones about this to his friend — and perhaps he is taking his revenge when he tries to sow discord among his fellow characters. Also worthy of note is the performance by the young daughter of the kitchen help, Nedjma (Lali Mansour), who gives one of the most moving and natural sequences in “Parkour(s).”

The cinematography is nothing to rave about and Youcef’s parkour antics are rather intrusive and add little to the narrative.