The Cairo Jazz Festival is back, returning to Al-Azhar Park with a great lineup from 13 to 16 March. Founded by Egyptian musician Amr Salah, this marks the festival’s 6th edition and includes performances from local and international artists including Omar Khairat. In previous years the festival has hosted artists like Ziad Rahbany in 2013. The concerts start at the end of the afternoon and are spread over two stages in Al-Azhar Park, the Lake Stage and El-Genaina Theatre.
The festival kicks off at 7pm with the Jakub Urban Trio featuring Noha Fekry (Czech Republic and Egypt), Uss W Laz2 (Egypt), Kaz Okumura Trio featuring Michelle Rounds (Japan and Australia) and Massar Egbari (Egypt). Tickets range from EGP 50 to EGP 75.
Starting at 4pm on 14 March, audiences have the opportunity to see Vein from Switzerland, Madina (Egypt), Holler My Dear (Austria), Sylvain Beuf Electric Eccentric (France), Soweto Kinch featuring Arabian Nights and Arab League All Stars (UK and Egypt), Daerr-Bica-Stick (Germany) and Oum (Morocco). Tickets are EGP 75.
The tickets get more pricey as the audience go through the lineup; for the third day, tickets will start at EGP 100 and go up to EGP 150 for an evening that starts at 5.30pm and features a lineup that includes the Yuri Honing Quartet featuring Dina El-Wedidi (Holland, Egypt), Nabil Khemir (Tunis), Andre Carvalho Group (Portugal), Rami Attallah Group (Egypt), and Mashrou’ Leila featuring Soweto Kinch (Lebanon and UK).
The festival will end on 16 March with a concert starting at 8pm by Omar Khairat and the tickets for this performance are available for EGP 65, 135 and 175.
The Cairo Jazz Club will host some of the visiting artists for a series of Beyond Stage performances after the concerts stop in Al-Azhar Park at its Agouza venue. The performances scheduled include Uss W Laz2 and Oum (Egypt and Morocco) on 13 March, Soopar Lox featuring DJ Safi (Egypt) on 14 March and Nabil Khemir featuring Michelle Rounds (Tunisia and Australia) and Holler My Dear (Austria) on 15 March. All performances will start at 9pm.
An integral part of the festival are the workshops and master-classes given by some of the visiting artists. Subscription will be required for those who want to attend and the workshops will include a rap workshop by Soweto Kinch (UK), a saxophone master class by Sylvain Beuf (France), a music workshop by Fathy Salama and a piano master class by VEIN (Switzerland). The venues for the classes are the Sakia Culture Wheel, the Geneina theatre and VIBE studio.
Workshops and activities aimed at families and children are also included at the El-Geneina theatre such as a photography workshop by Noha Kamal, a puppet show by Sara Batrawy, drawing by Noha El Alayly and How to read Music.
Prospective audience members should be aware that tickets for artists like the immensely popular Mashrou’ Leila and Omar Khairat are expected to sell out in a few days so they should not wait too long to purchase them at a list of local venues or online via Ticketsmarche.