Now in its remarkable 30th year in Egypt, this year's edition of the French Institute's annual musical melee has plenty in store.
Acting as an ode to culture and music since its inauguration in 1982, Fête de la Musique has been consistently bridging French and local artists in 120 countries for almost four decades. For three of those decades, the French Institute of Egypt has organised the festival here in Cairo, setting the stage for a wide array of artists and genres, while adding their own twists and turns. Taking place on Thursday 20th of June at Al-Azhar Park, this year is no different.
Fete de la Musique, 2018
The 2019 edition of the festival is set to celebrate raï, a form of Algerian folk music that dates back to the 1920s. A wildly significant bookmark in Algerian history, raï holds historical and political significance in being expressive of political protest and injustice in the 1960s and 1970s. Fête de la Musique this year pays tribute to a raging raï icon, the late Algerian Rachid Taha. Throughout his career, he’s defined and subverted several genres, making waves in the Algerian and international music scene. Influenced by rock, electronic, punk and raï, Taha's music is remarkably distinct to only himself.
The festival has allowed for the more underground music to surface, and be broadcast on a platform that allows for exposure fast-forwarding the artists’ careers. This year, the lineup are as inventive as each year. French-Algerian singer, Sofiane Saïdi, is one of the highlights, and will be joined by frequent collaborator, Mazalda. Together they’ve aimed to honour their roots and journey through contemporary grounds by creating futuristic raï. They’ve invited the musicians of Mazaher (one of the few Zãr bands in Egypt), Amin Shahin and Walid to join the stage, after a short residency in Cairo.
A treat to all oriental jazz fanatics, local favourites, El Dor El Awal, are set to open the evening, while much hyped electro chaabi performer, El Kontessa, is also set to bring her transcendent, hypnotic rhythms to the stage.
With a lineup that is a melting pot of talent, the performers will join in solidarity to honour raï and Taha’s legacy, by performing his music; a thrilling revisit for the festival veterans, and a grand introduction for first-timers.
You can find out more about the festival on the Facebook event page here.
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