Ahmed Harfoush, of Riff band and The Jazz Society of Egypt fame, designed a four-day series of jazz biopics, giving you an inside look into four pillars of the Jazz Movement. During The Jazz Biopic Film Week, starting 24 June at Darb 1718, you can watch the gripping stories of jazz greats Charlie Parker, Nat King Cole, Jerome Kern and Glenn Miller.
“We [The Jazz Society] have had a mounting membership but putting on events has been very hard,” says Harfoush. “You know, with the recent events and everything.”
Harfoush founded The Jazz Society along with Amr Falah, Director of the Cairo Jazz Festival, back in March 2009. The duo began piquing interest in jazz music with basic workshops, lectures and screenings.”We’ve seen a huge surge in interest in jazz music in Egypt after we founded The Society. Before, there was no jazz scene.” says Harfoush.
By putting on the biography screenings, Harfoush hopes to both draw in and educate new members who he is sure will be entranced by the music. The other jazz enthusiasts, who have been with the group since the beginning, will simply enjoy reconnecting with their heroes. “You have to realise, these are four of the most influential people in jazz music. I didn’t choose these movies randomly; they were what it had to be.” Harfoush says, when prompted why he chose these specific movies. “It also helps that they were the four I had in my personal library. That probably contributed,” he jokes.
When asked about his plans for future expansion of The Society and Jazz in Egypt, Harfoush seemed ambitious and hopeful. He studied musical theater in London, he tells me, and wants to exhibit what he learned. “A medley of musical theater—plays—and jazz is what I see,” Harfoush says, getting steadily more excited. “They are two styles that go together very well; I can see it happening soon. I feel we need to display our talent and musicianship on stage so people get interested.”
Harfoush is planning to keep the momentum going by showing a musical or musical movie once a week at Darb 1718. “I just want to add something to the culture scene,” were Harfoush’s parting words. “It’s expanding so fast and I want to leave my mark on it.”
The Jazz Biopic Film Week starts Sunday 24 June at 7:30 pm and continues until Wednesday 27 June.