Eftekasat

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Eftekasat
Origin Cairo, Egypt
Genres Oriental jazz
Years active 2001 – Present
Labels Incognito
Website eftekasat.com
Members Amro Salah (pn)
Samer George (bs)
Ahmad Hesham (dr)
Laith Soliman (nay)
Sherif Alaa (gtr)
Hany Bedair (perc)
Mohamad Medhat (vln)

Eftekasat (Arabic: افتكاسات‎‎) is an Egyptian Oriental jazz band that was established in late 2001 and gave its debut performance in February 2002 at the Cairo Jazz Club. The band has received positive critique from critics, who have praised the band's melding of different music styles. In 2015 Eftekasat became the resident performing band for Saturday Night Live Arabia[1]

Eftekasat is one of very few Egyptian independent music groups to have managed to establish themselves on the scene in such a little time.[2]

Origin and history[edit]

Growing up in a musical family and being influenced by classic music, Amr Salah started composing music during his youth. He kept experimenting and writing music till he was introduced to the jazz scene to start writing music with those formats in that particular direction. Although exposing his music wasn't an easy process, he kept documenting the music by notation, sequencer or recording. One of his very first tunes, written round 1992, is "Anxiety" which turned out to be Anxious Dance, the first track on Mouled Sidi El-Latini and "Moods".

The members of the group started to grow when Salah met his very close friend Samer George at the French Cultural Centre where Samer was performing some Beatles songs. Amr was so fascinated that after the show he hugged Samer and they started their musical journey. During Salah and Samer's work in Bahrain they met Amr Khairy, the drummer, in 1996. Many has already given Khairy positive reviews and joining forces with the two friends on the musical project was a big step. Khairy was introduced to the music and was impressed resulting in the trio performing gigs and playing in a 5 star jazz club called the Magical Blue Moods.[3] However, the group hasn't even started yet although there were plans to 'do something' in the future. Returning from Bahrain, everyone went to their different musical projects and the trio was separated to be reunited again in 2000.

In 2001 Hany El Badry, a nay player influenced by different types of music, joined the trio to start working on some Jazz covers. Although the foundation of the group existed, the band itself wasn't there yet. Finally, in February 2002, Eftekasat was launced at the Jazz Festival at the Cairo Jazz Club to receive appreciation from the audience joined by a vocalist, Hany Adel.[4] After Cairo Jazz Club, the recording of the demo started joined by the percussionist Hany Bedair. The demo already helped the band when it was sent to Bansko International Jazz Festival in Bulgaria as they were invited to perform there{www.banskojazz.com} Later, the band started putting music together for Mo'taz El Demerdash's talk show with the vocalist Amr Yehia and performing in several international festivals in several Arab countries.[citation needed] The band noticed the way audiences interact with them and later decided to go instrumental and that's when the 6 members became the current Eftekasat band.

Mouled Sidi El-Latini[edit]

In January 2006, Eftekasat was awarded a production grant of $3500 from The Culture Resource "Al-Mawred Al Thaqafi" and decided to start recording their first album "Mouled Sidi El-Latini" which required an actual fund of $11000. Set in Media Production City Studios, the recording started April 2006 and ended July of the same year. Sound Mixing was made in "Sound Design", Amr Yehia's studio while the sound engineers were Amr Yehia himself and Alaa El Kashef. The American Multi Instrumentalist/composer Daryl Kennedy, who sometimes shared stage with the band produced the album. The album was distributed Worldwide and digitally through iTunes

Going international[edit]

Besides the fact that Mouled Sidi El-Latini was released on international basis, Eftekasat became officially international when they were invited to perform at the 2008 Carthage Jazz Festival in Tunis performing with several other international artists like Gilberto Gil from Brazil, the Portuguese Maria João & Mário Laginha, William Parker from the USA, Dhafer Youssef from Tunis, the Italian Gino Paoli, the French Jacques Schwarz-Bart and the English Murray Head.[5]

Artistic contributions and influences[edit]

Although Amro Salah is the soul composer of the group, Ousso, the guitarist has also contributed in the writing of some of the songs and already has his own material. Therefore, their influences had a great impact on Eftekasat especially Amro's which included Classic, Jazz, Pop and Rock. His mother had a great impact on his influences as she worked as a classic piano teacher and therefore he began playing influenced by Classic music!

As for the artists and bands that influenced him they include Omar Khairat, the Algerian Mohamed El Anka who influenced the track "La Belle Algerie", Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Lyle Mays, Spyrogyra, Yellowjackets, Ziad Rahbani, Frank Zappa and many other groups of the sixties era including The Beatles who had a great impact on him before he walked on the Jazz route as he used to memorise, play, perform, and even sing the lyrics.

Future projects and visions[edit]

Amro Salah's ambition and plans for the group has not yet ended as he is planning:

"To be internationally recognized, to be one of the groups on the international scene, performing a number of concerts per year. As Chick Corea Electric Group or Spyrogyra, there would be a group by the name Eftekasat from Egypt."

There are plans of future releases in a special order including a plan to release an original called "Moods" sometime soon. "Moods" was never performed in public!

Involvement in local and international music scene[edit]

Local[edit]

Eftekasat is one of the busiest World Jazz fusion groups that are on top of the music scene in Egypt. The Group regularly performs at Cairo Opera House,[6] Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Cairo Jazz Club, and "Sakia" (El Sawy Culturewheel) "ساقية الصاوى".

International[edit]

Eftekasat made their debut international performance in 2004 at the 4th Bansko International Jazz Festival in Bansko, Bulgaria that was followed by a series of performances in major festivals and Cultural events Worldwide such as:

  • Carthage Jazz Festival - Tunis
  • San Jose Jazz Festival - USA
  • Nisville Jazz Festival - Serbia
  • Jordan Jazz Festival
  • Cairo Jazz Festival
  • S.O.S Music Festival
  • Modern Folk Musik Fest
  • Bansko Jazz Festival - Bulgaria
  • PANAF - Algeria

Discography[edit]

Band members[edit]

  • Amro Salah - piano, keys
  • Samer George - bass
  • Ahmad Hesham - drums
  • Laith Soliman - nay
  • Sherif Alaa- guitar
  • Hany Bedair - percussion
  • Mohamad Medhat - violin

Former members[edit]

  • Amro Khairy "The Mestar" - drums
  • Hany Badry - nay
  • Ouso - guitar

Etymology[edit]

It is a well known term in the slang language used by the younger generation in Cairo. When an idea is created from nowhere this is ‘Eftekasat’. - Amro Salah on the meaning of the name!

Eftekasat is a slang word that means innovations or spontaneous ideas.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jered Stuffco (2007-01-11). "Bold fusion: Eftekasat puts innovation over tradition". Daily News Egypt. Archived from the original on 2008-01-08. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  2. ^ "Eftekasat, a band whose cache in Cairo is on the rise". Archived from the original on 2008-01-10. 
  3. ^ Riff Band
  4. ^ EMajor - Interview with Amr Salah of Eftekasat
  5. ^ Jazz à Carthage 2008
  6. ^ "Eftekasat plays in Cairo Opera House". Archived from the original on 2008-01-10. 

External links[edit]