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International Jazz Day

Cairo's finest Jazz musicians will be joining Ahmed Harfoush at CJC to celebrate International Jazz Day, next week. We catch up with Harfoush to get the lowdown on this one-of-a-kind event...

Almost three years ago, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) realised how essential the role of Jazz is in “uniting people in all corners of the globe” and thus gave birth to an International Jazz Day.

“Each year on April 30, this international art form is recognised for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity, eradicating discrimination, promoting freedom of expression, fostering gender equality, and reinforcing the role of youth for social change.”

Sounds pretty serious, right? We are ecstatic to announce that, this year, Cairo will be getting involved as Cairo Jazz Club host an exquisite night of smooth grooves, led by the Egyptian face of Jazz and Chairman of the Jazz Society of Egypt, Ahmed Harfoush and the Jazz Project.

As a reflection of the international love for Jazz, Harfoush has organised and will be leading a star-studded line-up drenched in international flavour. The Jazz Project features Ali Farouk, an Egyptian guitarist living in Canada, Lebanese Andre Segone on the double bass, Lety El Naggar, a Mexican/Egyptian female Saxophonist, Egyptian hero Ahmed Hesham on drums and founder of Salsa, Diaa Badr, on percussions. How’s that for an international thrill? “We need to be part of the world,” Harfoush insists.“Everyone else is doing it. Cairo has become a cosmopolitan city and is a massive melting pot for all nationalities. We’re trying to make the music scene here so it fits with the global music scene."

The night will celebrate American Jazz at its finest, with crowd-pleasing tracks from the GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK (Harfoush says it has to be in capitals and Harfoush knows best).The world class musicians will be presenting a melodic mix of Jazz standards and Jazz versions of contemporary pop songs, bringing you tunes all the way from the 1930s to covers of today’s contemporary hits, ranging from Michael Jackson to Sade.

There’s no doubt that our country is becoming hungry for culture and it’s people are more eager than ever to immerse themselves in a world of musical expression and the arts. And though, these days, it seems to be EDM (Electronic Dance Music) world that’s getting all the attention, Harfoush is seeing the ripple-effects on the Jazz scene. “The love and appreciation towards Jazz music in Egypt is growing. There is a time for House music and a time for Jazz, and I think people want to have that variety. You can only listen to House music for some time before you want something that has melody, beautiful sounds and even more beautiful lyrics from the past.”

This is the first time CJC will be joining the global community in celebrating International Jazz Day and it’s definitely not one to miss. “Jazz makes you think. It makes you think about how music is played, and it feeds your soul. I need Jazz every day,” says Harfoush and we think he’s on to something. So dive into the culture of Jazz and sway to the sweet melodies of Cairo’s finest musicians.

International Jazz Day Ft. Cairo’s Finest is on 30th April at Cairo Jazz Club. For reservations, use Tazkarty.net. Find out more about Ahmed Harfoush in our Music Matters interview with the man himself here.