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March 23, 2018
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Egypt: Band Introduces Traditional Romani Music to the Egyptian Jazz Scene

16.6.2017 12:00
PHOTO:, The Gypsyjazz Project
PHOTO:, The Gypsyjazz Project

The Gypsy Jazz Project is an Egyptian band that has pioneered Romani-based music in the jazz scene there. The band is set to perform with Egyptian singer and actress Dalia Farid this Saturday 17 June at 9:30pm in the ROOM Art Space and Cafe in Garden City.

According to Ahram Online, the Cairo-based band is “influenced by the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, as well as other, older artists.” Django Reinhardt was a 20th-cenury Romani guitarist who created an entirely new jazz genre.

According to National Public Radio (NPR) in the USA, Reinhardt “created a new style of music in the 1930s and '40s that came to be dubbed ‘Gypsy jazz’... he's one of the few European musicians to exert a serious influence on the American art form of jazz.” NPR also discusses how the French musician Stephane Grappelli performed with Reinhardt, eventually working with him to form the Quintette du Hot Club de France, “one of the earliest and most influential jazz groups in Europe.”

The Gypsy Jazz Project delivers different aspects of the genre, performing music that ranges from calm to upbeat and waltzy. Ahram Online reports that, “The band lineup consists of guitarists Andrew Guindi, Amr Soliman and Michael Adel; violinist Amir Latif, saxophonist Mina Nashaat, accordionist Ashraf Rizk and bassist Andrew Safwat.”

The group has performed in Cairo, Gizah and Zamalek. The performance on Saturday 17 June in Cairo will include vocalist Dalia Farid, who has a broad repertoire in jazz, folk, and classical music and has performed abroad.


Djenne Dickens
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