) 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.
Eftekasat is one of very few Egyptian independent music groups to have managed to establish themselves on the scene in such a little time.
Origin and history
Growing up in a musical family and being influenced by classic music, Amr Salah started composing music during his youth. He kept expirementing 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
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. 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 Februany 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.
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! 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. 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
In January 2006, Eftekasat was given a scholarship of $3500 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 Lebanese ophone player Daryl Kennedy, who sometimes played on stage with the band, produced the album. The album was available in Egypt, several other countries like the USA and lately was put on the iTunes
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
, 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
. Eftekasat are probably the first modern Egyptian band to become international.
Artistic contributions and influences
Although Amr Salah is the soul composer of the group, Ousso, the guitarist, 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 Amr's which included Classic
. 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 Han, McCoy Taylor, Lyle Mays, Spyrogyra, Yellowjackets, Ziad Rahbany, Frank Zappa, The Rolling Stones, The Who 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
Amr Salah's ambition and plans for the group has not yet ended as he is planning:
"To be internationally recognised, 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!
On Wednesday, February 27 2008
, Amro Salah announced during Eftekasat's concert in El Sawy Culturewheel that there are plans to release a second album in the summer of 2009.
Involvement in local and international music scene
Eftekasat is very active in their local scene, playing at many places, including but not limited to, the very important Cairo Opera House
, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
, Cairo Jazz Club, and "Sa'yet El Sawy" (El Sawy Culturewheel) "ساقية الصاوى". They were also featured multiple times in the SOS festival.
Eftekasat probably became international when they performed at the 4th Bansko International Jazz Festival in Bansko, Bulgaria in the year 2004. This was followed by a 2008 international festival as on Thursday, January 24 2008
, Amro Salah announced during Eftekasat's concert in El Sawy Culturewheel that Eftekasat have been invited to perform in the Carthage
Jazz Festival in Tunis
. And indeeed, they played on April 17th together with guest violinist, Yasmine Azaïez. The lineup was Amro Salah, Yasmine Azaïez, Samer George, Hany Badry, Amro Khairy, Tarek Hassan, Hany Bedair, and Mohamed Medhat. On the next day, Hany Badry and Mohamed Medhat gave music lessons on the nay and violin respectively .
The third major concert and first tour was announded on the 7 April, 2008 on the official Facebook group. The tour is going to be in the U.S.A. as the band is expected to play at the San Jose Jazz Festival
on August 8th, 9th and 10th 2008. Later, they are expected to be featured for the second time at the 11th Bansko International Jazz Festival.
- Amro Salah - piano, synthesizers
- Samer George - bass
- Amro Khairy "The Mestar" - drums
- Mohamed Lotfy "Ousso" - guitars
- Hany Badry - nay
- Hany Bedair - percussion
- Mohamad Medhat - violin
- Tarek Hassan - guitars
- Naseer Shamma - oud
- Daryl Kennedy - saxophone
- Yasmine Azaïez - violin
It is a well known term in the slang language used by the younger generation only in Cairo. When an idea is created from nowhere this is ‘Eftekasat’. - Amr Salah on the meaning of the name!
Eftekasat is a slang word that means innovations or innovative ideas.
The title came in a very spontaneous manner, with no predetermined arrangements. I was all by myself and the title of the group came up and I decided to name it ‘Eftekasat’, despite the fact that I’m not using this word in my normal dialogue. I wanted the title to be catchy, innovative, and progressive; to be related to the culture I’m addressing the music to. Other titles like ‘Mashrabia’, ‘Goreah’ or any other similar names could have fulfilled the requirements. So I asked myself ‘what am I doing here?’ a bit of jazz, a bit of rock and other elements blended together in a mix with no clear black and white identity. - Amr Salah on the origin of the name!