Jacinto in Cairo

02 August 2006

Hazim Shaheen on 'oud; Dinner party with bass player

Down under the 26th of July Bridge in Zamalek sits the Sawy Culture Wheel, an experimental art and theatre complex. Literally built into the bridge, Sawy hosts sculpture, drama, and music. Through connections old and new, we befriended M----, a bass player who said we really should come hear him play with Nazim Shaheen on 'oud, accompanied also by piano and percussion.

Bettina and I were transfixed and inspired. Such music! You could hear so many influences, but it all sounded totally their own: traditional Egyptian, classical Arabic, flamenco, ragtime, classical European, Marc Ribot... Nazim shredded the 'oud like I've never heard before (albeit my exposure is more or less limited to a few traditional 'oud balladeers in Syria and on PBS).

This quartet plays with a larger ensemble, Iskandarella, that we're going to see Friday night in the new Al-Azhar park.

And last night we ordered beer from Drinkie's (Cairo's alcohol delivery service), kofta (from the phenomenal little Kebabgi al-Sheikh adjacent to the butcher in the alleyway I mentioned in a previous post), and rotisserie chicken for a small dinner party. Bettina whipped up a delicious eggplant, yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, cucumber, and tomato dip that some call mouttabal and some baba ghanouj. We also had lots of sweets and fresh fruit. The party lasted past 3am, and everybody left glazed, blazed and stuffed.


At 11:47 PM, Blogger Sean said...

Wow!! Sounds like you folks are really having a great time. I am following your blog and look forward to reading more. Enjoy!!


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