Ana Masry

Check out this band Ana Masry.  I couldn't tell you where I first heard of this band.  Maybe perusing the interwebs, or maybe they were suggested to me by an Egyptian or Arab-philic friend?  All I know is that when I read their name on the Sawi Culturewheel schedule of events it rang a bell, and I was determined to go.  I tried to enlist some Egyptian friends to go with me to the concert but between Ramadan festivities, gearing up for Eid (this Sunday!), living far away, and general Egyptian flakiness, it ended up being an excursion of foreigners.  This was fine by me, because it meant a reunion with my two British friends who had been traveling for the last couple weeks.  IT WAS A BLAST.  Surprise! the first song was accompanied by whirling dervishes!

The band is like a chorus of traditional and modern Egyptian-Arab awesomeness.  There was opera, beat-boxing, traditional Arabic music, instrumental solos, and Islamic... chanting? (I don't know what you'd call it, but it was stunning).  The band includes about six vocalists, in addition to a couple of  drummers and a violinist who also sing.  About every other number was a full ensemble number, and then solos in between.  They are all obscenely talented, and their energy is great.  I am determined to see them again live.  It was fantastic.

I would also like to make a shout out to the Sawy Culturewheel.  This is the third concert I've attended there.  This event was held in a different hall than the last two concerts I had attended.  I am happy to say even the smaller performance space was pretty excellent.  Yay arts!

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