FILE - Minya University Theater will host an untraditional
concert performed by the acclaimed Egyptian-German band Cairo Steps headed by famed Oud player Bassem Darwish
CAIRO – 19 December 2018: Minya University Theater will host an untraditional
concert performed by the acclaimed Egyptian-German band Cairo Steps headed by famed Oud player Bassem Darwish, who will be accompanied by a group of German musicians and Egyptian singer Ali el Helbawy.
This concert comes as part of an initiative to spread art and music in Upper Egypt.
Darwish was born in Upper Egypt and moved to Germany 25 years ago. He presented the idea of this initiative to Egyptian Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem in the World Youth Forum, which was held in Sharm El-Sheikh in November.
Abdel Dayem praised the idea and decided to organize this concert in the Minya University Theatre.
"One of my dreams was to create a high-quality artistic activity in my homeland and to reach out to the largest segment of youth," Darwish said.
A notable group of Upper Egyptian journalists, writers and public figures will attend this concert in addition to Abdel Dayem. Minya suffered from extremist religious streams and the government started exerting real efforts for development and renewal of religious discourse in Upper Egypt after the June 30 revolution.
"After performing many concerts in Cairo, Alexandria and Damanhour for more than three years, I found that I have to return back to Upper Egypt and present a new kind of concerts there," Darwish recounted.
Abdel Dayem participated with Cairo Steps as a flute player in some of their concerts because of the unique blend of traditional and contemporary music the band presents.
"Muslim and Christian Egyptians were raised together to the principal of equality and brotherhood; we exercised all hobbies without discrimination and lived the best years of our lives together despite the emergence of extremist groups in the 1970s and 1980s and their attempts to besiege art activities in schools and universities," Darwish added.
"After many years of working abroad and learning about many other cultures, I believe that music unites people more than anything else; that is what I want to bring to my hometown, Minya," Darwish stressed.
Cairo Steps was established in 2002 by Darwish and German pianist and composer Matisse. The band achieved international fame under the leadership of pianist and Maestro Sebastian Müller due to his unique artistic style, which is based on mixing Egyptian oriental music with classical music, modern jazz and electronic sounds.
Muller has established a wide audience base through his concerts at the Egyptian Opera House since 2009 and has won the admiration of the audience and critics worldwide.
Cairo Steps pursues the vision of crossing cultural, political and religious borders and building bridges between different cultures.