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Ghalia Benali: Future Classics

Tunisian treasure Ghalia Benali returns to the Cairo Jazz Club stage on Sunday 22nd December, to educate Egypt on Neo-Tarab Arab Soul. SceneNoise explains...

Staff Writer

It's cold out there, but lucky for music-loving Cairenes, things continue to heat up at the Cairo Jazz Club. On December 22nd the CJC will once again be hosting the multi-talented Tunisian artist, Ghalia Benali. Her sound is often described as 'Neo-Tarab Arab Soul'. We’re sure a lot of you out there are wondering what that entails. And what exactly is Tarab music, let alone Neo-Tarab Arab Soul?

After a bit of research, we discovered that Tarab is very hard to define. It isn't really a term to describe a genre, but is more concerned with the way the audience feels towards it. Much like soul music it is deep, sultry and connects with its listeners, not only on a musical level, but on an emotional level. When music is able to make you feel engaged, involved, and emotional it is considered Tarab. So the real question is will Ghalia Benali make you feel emotional?

If the tracks on our her social media pages are any indication of what she will be like live, then the short answer is yes. Ghalia Benali's music is soulfully Oriental reminiscent of the sounds of Umm Kulthum, but updated to suit more worldly ears, mixing traditional Arab lyrics with Soul arrangements. Each track is beautifully composed, using oriental instruments, and the music alone is enough to make any avid music lover come out. But when her voice takes command of the track it not only becomes transformative, but unforgettable.

Every ear is different, though. Maybe you don't like Umm Kulthum but if this is the case, then your heart is as cold as the weather. For the rest of the population, Sunday, December 22nd at Cairo Jazz Club is a night to mark on your calendar, as it isn't every day that the future of classic Arab music comes to Egypt.

Ghalia Benali performs at Cairo Jazz Club on December 22nd, starting form 9pm. Make your reservation online using