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Mazaher in concert

From October 14, 2021 until October 23, 20217:30 p.m.
Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 7:30 p.m. 7 euros: general tickets at the box office.
6 euros: free entry. Tickets sold on this website up to the day of the event at 2:00 p.m., or until sold out. Those tickets that have not been sold online will be sold one hour before the event.

TICKETS SOLD OUT. Don’t miss the performance of Mazaher, one of the few bands still connected to the Egyptian musical tradition. On the upcoming date of October 23 at the Casa Árabe headquarters in Madrid.

Mazaher is one of the best known groups in Egypt’s music scene, with concerts held at the mythical Makan Hall in Cairo which have beenn unforgettable experiences. In Mazaher, women are the stars of the show, and the group’s artistic proposal connects with the most ancient traditions across several regions in Egypt. Um Sameh, Um Hassan and Nour El Sabah are among the last remaining zar practitioners in the country.

Mazaher’s songlist, gathered in its album (published by Ajabú!, 2020), has been inspired by the three sub-genres of Egyptian zar music: one from Upper Egypt, another called Abul Gheit and the tambura or zar of Africa. As an ensemble, the zar is a communal healing ritual passed down through song and the many beats of drums and dance, and women are its main transmitters (men play a secondary role in this case). It is a tradition whose rituals were often misinterpreted in the past as a form of exorcism. Their actual objective is just to harmonize the inner world of those who take part, thus creating a space where human behavior can be freed from tensions and frustrations in what amounts to a cathartic, purifying experience that calms and soothes the spirit.

One of the most notable instruments in the Egyptian ritual of the zar is the tambura, an instrument generally having six strings and different forms. Since Byzantine times, it has also been found on the Arabian Peninsula, and in Persia and East Africa. Another peculiar instrument is the mangour, a leather belt sewn with numerous goat hooves, tied at the hip and played with powerful horizontal rhythmic motions which, in the case of Mazaher, is performed by two men. One of them provides accompaniment with heartfelt dances and gyrations while playing the toura (large cymbals). Mazaher also uses other better-known instruments like the daf, the reqq (a sort of tambourine) and several percussion instruments played by men and women alike, in addition to the bamboo flute.

Learn more about Mazaher through some of its performances and this interview at Le Guess Who?, a world music festival in which it will be taking part next November.
Mazaher in concert
Photo: Members of Mazaher.