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Bansko Jazz 2010 – The band Eftekasat

September 28, 2010 by · No comments

Interview with the band Eftekasat by Dessislava Berndt

Jazz Festival Bansko


The International Jazz Festival in Bansko is one of the biggest summer musical events in Bulgaria and one of the foremost international cultural happenings in the Balkans.

Since its foundation in 1998 the festival has been held every year from August 8th to 13th in the small town of Bansko. The concerts are free for the public. Traditionally, the programme features styles and groups representing almost all jazz trends. During the festival week jazz is also played on various smaller stages in the large resort complexes and restaurants.

Today we would like to present you the band
Eftekasat from Egypt, who are making it to the International Jazz Festival Bansko for the third time.

Eftekasat, what is the meaning of music for you?

Music is expression and creation; it is a reflection of a state of mind or emotions, it is a suggestion and influence of different moods. It is an exploration of different cultures, thoughts, and feelings fused together, creating melodies, beats, and rhythms that affect our everyday lives and how we go by them.


This year was your third time at the International Jazz Festival Bansko. Do you have connections and contacts in Bulgaria?

Now we do; after taking part in the festival three times, we’ve built a growing relationship with the organizers as well as the musicians taking part in the festival.

For you, what was the most surprising experience working with other musicians in Bansko?

It was a mind opening experience on different levels; we enjoyed every part of it. What we found very rewarding and inspiring was how our band’s musicians were requested to take part in all other bands’ jamming sessions.


What is the source of your inspiration?

It’s a mix of our states of mind and fusion of different genres we’ve been exposed to… We take the tunes and sounds we love and give them the twist that Middle Eastern ears have been enjoying throughout the years creating music that our local and international fan base would relate to and enjoy as much as we do.

Would you please tell us something about your current and future projects?

We can’t share many details about what we’re planning for but there are a couple of big projects in the pipeline. One of the major ones involves the international scene as much as the local one. Right now, we’re working on performing at different places in the local, regional, and international level. We also just launched our second album “Dandasha” in May this year and are working on its tour.


What is the band dreaming about?

A lot! Most importantly, becoming locally and internationally synonymous with unique jazz fusion music and getting signed by a record label that would appreciate the kind of music we play to further promote it.

What is the greatest satisfaction for you as musicians and your biggest challenge?

The greatest and most rewarding thing for us is the audience and fans’ reaction to our music, our concerts or to the albums we offer.

One of the biggest yet exciting challenges is to always offer something new to our fans and grow our fan base. Another important thing is to never give up on our planned projects despite possible obstacles and delays.


What is the most important thing you would like for people to know about you?

Our love and passion for the music we offer them.
How would you describe the character and the sound of the music you are making, and which kind of public do you address it to?

If we could personify our music, we would describe this person as mature, personal, and joyful, close to your heart and one you can have a timeless bond with.

Our music is engaging and appeals to a wide range of people; we have the jazz lovers, the Latin lovers, and the oriental music lovers. Eftekasat offers world music. We are also appreciated and respected by those who are looking for an edge in music composition, arrangement, and live performance.

Where can your albums be bought from?

They have been sold in Egypt. We also offer them for sale during our different tours. We are looking to sell them online soon.

The Eftekasat Band was established in 2001 and made its debut at the Cairo Jazz Festival. Their music is acclaimed as unique and original. The idea for something new and different is contained in the name of the group – Eftekasat, which means innovations or innovative ideas. Eftekasat are “Winner of the Culture Resource Award 2005” recipients and as well as the holder of the “Winner of The Arab fund for Arts and Culture award 2009.”

Their original compositions can be classified as oriental jazz/fusion/jazz rock and sometimes world music. Their music strives to look for a new sound in oriental music by blending it with Latino, Balkan and rock rhythms.

Eftekasat are Amro Salah – piano, keys, Samer George – bass, Ahmad Hesham – drums, Laith Sulaiman – nay, Mohamad Medhat – violin and Hany Bedair – percussion.
The Music of Eftekasat is best described by The Herald Tribune as it says: “Nonetheless, Eftekasat – which translates roughly as “new inventions” – have made an engaging album filled with a variety of textures and moods, and the record’s production values are slick and polished.”

Eftekasat participated in numerous major cultural events, locally and internationally:

-Modern Folk Musik Festival – Cairo, Egypt 2002
-Cairo Jazz club festival 2002
-Mangroovy art festival – Sharm el Sheikh 2004
-Fete de La Musique – Cairo, Egypt 2003, 2005
-The Independent Egyptian Groups Music Festivals – Alexandria, Egypt 2004
-Bansko International Jazz Festival – Bulgaria 2004
-OZOMATLI Middle East tour – Cairo, Alexandria 2007
-Carthage Jazz festival – Tunis 2008
-S.O.S music festival – Cairo 2006, 2007, 2008
-Nisville Jazz festival – Serbia, 2008
– Bansko International Jazz Festival – Bulgaria 2008
-San Jose 19th Jazz festival-U.S.A 2008
-Panaf – Algeria 2009
-Festival of Jordan – Jordan 2009
-Cairo Jazz Festival – Egypt 2010
-Bansko International Jazz Festival – Bulgaria 2010

Eftekasat Discography:

The first album “Mouled Sidi El-Latini” (The Latin Dervish) was released in 2006. It tells the story of “Mouled Sidi El-Latini”, whose imagination takes him to festive ceremonies somewhere in Latin America, where everybody together celebrates the fusion of cultures, different languages and music styles.
The second album “Dandasha” was released in 2010.

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