Egypt’s Jazzy Santa

DSC02175Yehya Khalil is the most prominent Jazz musician in Egypt, who’s unique style have been recognized all over the world for its attractiveness.

What’s striking about Khalil’s style of music is the cohesive way he mixes Western Jazz music with an Eastern flavor. He does so by incorporating Eastern musical instruments into his Jazz band.

Khalil is a percussionist in his band. He’s the lead drummer. In his band, there are Western Instruments such as the his drum set, which is placed on stage front and center, a Piano, an electric base, and an electric violin, which is played by the very young, talented violinist, Mohamed Ali.

Khalil also has Eastern instruments in his band such as the table, which is an eastern form of a drum, a Riq, which basically is the tambourine, a nay, which is an old-fashioned Egyptian form of the flute, and it is played by Jordanian musician Nayf Solayman, and the accordion, played by Wael El Naggar.

Khalil formed the first Jazz band in Egypt at the age of thirteen, called “Cairo Jazz Quartet”. He studied and played drumming for fifteen years in the United States of America. In 1979, he came back to Egypt and rummaged around for the country’s best talents and formed his Jazz Band. Khalil has been performing professionally  for over 40 years.

Khalil performed in more than 20 countries and 100 cities all over the world. He recently released his first Jazz album “Rhythm of the Soul”. Some of his top rated tracks include Dunya, Caravan, and Aziza.

Khalil has his own TV program “World of Jazz” which airs Every Friday at Midnight, on the local Egyptian Television, Channel 2.

Khalil performs regularly at the Opera House. He has an upcoming concert in November at The Sawy Culture Wheel in Zamalek, and another concert in December at the Cairo Opera House, also in Zamalek.

-By Nouran Khalil

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