Today I was chatting to my wonderful friend and master musician Amir Ezzat and like the rest of the world, he is also enduring COVID restrictions and loss of work. Egypt has been through so much, especially in the last 10 years…..and when I was last there in 2017 we were hoping for better days ahead for this most beloved country. Egyptians have proven time and again their solidarity, resilience, courage and faith – this being yet another test of their capacity to endure and thrive. But back to the prodigiously talented Amir Ezzat ….. I first met Amir a few years ago when we worked together in France. I was struck by his relaxed approach, adaptability and above all his supportive demeanour as he accompanied the dancers during the workshops and in performance…this is all the more impressive when you learn of his background. However today I discovered that he is not only a highly accomplished musician, but also a crafter of the finest percussion instruments…..so we can add very humble to the mix of adjectives to describe our friend. Here is a little more about Amir:
‘Amir Ezzat holds a bachelor degree in Arabic music, a diploma in oriental music and ethnomusicology. Amir was born into an artistic environment in El Minya and started to play the Egyptian tabla (darabuka) at the age of six. As a young percussionist, he joined various music groups and participated in music competitions, winning one award after the other. At the age of 18 he moved to Cairo and joined the High Institute of Arabic Music. Today, Amir Ezzat teaches at the High Institute of Arabic Music and works as a percussionist in the Egyptian Opera House in Cairo and Alexandria. He performs at various concerts of the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, accompanies famous Arab singers and participates in international festivals such as the Mediterranean Sea Festival in Southern France, the Karthago Festival in Tunisia, festivals in Jordan and the Arabian Gulf. Amir regularly travels to Europe to play at concerts, for example in Austria, Spain, France, England, Hungary, and Holland. He specializes in the different types of Egyptian popular arts and he teaches workshops for young people who are interested in the percussion instruments. As well, Amir makes his own percussion instruments and is a famous Egyptian tabla (darabuka) and riq manufacturer in his country. Currently he is a researcher in the High Institute of Arabic Music’
Click here to message Amir Ezzat via facebook with any enquiries and below some sample pics of his handiwork.