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

‘Work It’ playfully explores ambition through music and dance

Updated 11 August 2020

‘Work It’ playfully explores ambition through music and dance

CHENNAI: Laura Terruso’s “Work It” — one of Netflix’s better releases in the recent months of the pandemic — centers on a young woman’s dream to get into the college that her late father attended. The charming film has an easy pace and, despite its predictable nature, makes for a compelling watch, largely owing to the dance sequences, which form the core of the plot.

Produced by Alicia Keys and performed by a cast of actors in their twenties posing as high schoolers, “Work It” is essentially the story of Quinn (singer and Disney star Sabrina Carpenter), a student who receives excellent grades at school, is focused and has few interests outside her campus. She does have a dream, however, and a desperate one at that — to get into Duke University. Quinn is determined to receive admission into Duke after she graduates from high school.

“Work It” centers on a young woman’s dream to get into the college that her late father attended. Supplied

It seems her grades alone are not enough, however, and in an interview with the head of Duke, a slight misunderstanding occurs. Quinn is mistaken for a dancer, and it appears her admission hinges on her being one. She is not even part of her school’s award-winning dance team. So, she enlists the help of her best friend, Jas (YouTuber-turned-actor Liza Koshy), who is a superb dancer. As the plot progresses, Quinn falls in love with Jake (singer and “Hamilton” star, Jordan Fisher), also an accomplished artist, who doubles as her coach. 

Quinn assembles a team of girls and boys — who can barely shake a leg but who are eager to be part of her efforts — to join a dance competition. The group has difficulty finding a place to practice but eventually find a spot at a nursing home, where residents turn in by seven in the evening. There is a hilarious scene in which Quinn and the dance group begin a practice session only to elicit the interest of one of the residents, who appears to have been disturbed by the noise but who, much to the surprise and amusement of the group, sportingly joins in!

“Work It” is playful, and the dance sessions are a lot of fun to watch, despite Quinn’s desperation to get it right. The 93-minute run time has never a dull moment, not even when Quinn is deep in the dumps, having been rejected by Duke and finding it a struggle to get her body to sway to the beat.