While Michael Bolton might be the biggest name in entertainment in Cairo this weekend, there are some mighty tasty looking parties and gigs across the capital - not to mention a certain jazz festival...
CAIRO JAZZ FESTIVAL @ THE GREEK CAMPUS
The eighth edition of the annual Cairo Jazz Festival is upon us and with it comes three consecutive days of not only live music from across the world, but also a host of workshops and other activities. Taking place at the Greek Campus in Downtown Cairo, this year's festival might be the most eclectic yet, with performers from Japan, Bahrain, Czech Republic and, of course right here in Egypt, set to take to the stage. But there's more to the festival...
Yes, Cairo Jazz Festival's Beyond Stage series is back at the fitting Cairo Jazz Club. The Mohandiseen bar is set to host four nights of live music, with a spattering of some of the festival proper's acts set to swap the open air of the Greek Campus, to the dark, intimacy of CJC. Things kick off as they mean to go on with Japanese saxophonist, Saori Yano, Czech duo, Tara Fuki, and Cairo's own Big Band Society set to perform.
MAF @ THE TAP MAADI
MAF, aka Masters at Funk, aren't as rabid on the live circuit as fans would hope, making this weekend's gig at the Tap in Maadi all the more enticing. By name alone, there's something of the off-kilter about the group; the White Nubian, DJ Nitrane and Funky Pharaoh, however, do possess the ability to put together some rather funky sets, with words like 'soulful' defining their tech and deep house sets.
THE NILE PROJECT @ DARB 1718
(Image: The Nile Project/Facebook)
Another of the highlight music events of the weekend comes at Darb 1718 courtesy of one of the most unique initiatives of the last four years or so. Having been co-founded by Egyptian ethnomusicologist, Mina Girgis, and Ethiopian-American artist, Meklit Hadero, the Nile Project aims to address the often ignored issues facing the Nile Basin issues through music. In bringing together musicians from Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and Uganda set to perform as part of ongoing efforts to ease tensions and open dialogue between the affected countries. Sounds serious (because it is serious), but it's also one of the most fun musical projects in Africa.
(Image: The Meteors Project/Facebook)
From Darb to khabt, there's a distinctly electronic spin on the second night of the Beyond Stage program. To dismiss any one of the featured acts' musical output simply as khabt would be terribly unfair, though. Said line-up consists of a debuting Burdizo as well as the Meteors Project. The duo, Gaser El Safty and Karim El Zanfally, have been in top form as of late, with the latest notch on their belts coming in the form of an upcoming EP release - get a sneak peek here. Gaser is actually on double duty that night; later on in the evening El Safty is back in action, as will Richard R. - two men who know they're way around a tech house set.
(Image: Habibi Funk/Facebook)
Although many initially dismissed Zigzag as another flash-in-the-pan bar, the Downtown venue has certainly made an impact with several sections of Cairo's clubbing contingent. It's been one of the capital's most popular haunts post-summer, which is partly thanks to a makeover of both its interior and its scope of work. It's latest collaboration comes with the Panorama of European Film, which is set to kick off on November 2nd and will hold it's first ever launch party at Zigzag with Berlin-based, Arab-influenced music maker, Habibi Funk.
DJ AK @ THE TAP EAST
Ending with an event much less complicated is DJ AK, who makes a rare appearance at the Tap East. Usually seen at Cairo Jazz Club inciting uncontrollable acts of gyration and general rear-end rotation, AK has been gigging outside Egypt recently and has a big date at Lib Lounge's Love Life party series in December, is one of the more versatile pushers of hip-hop and r&b you'll find in Cairo and will be ending the weekend over at the New Cairo bar with more of that gyration and rear-end rotation mentioned earlier.
For more events across the capital this weekend, check out the Cairo Gossip events calendar.
By Kalam El Qahaira