Friday, February 16, 2007


Feb 15: Dumbek Fever Sweeps Cairo

I thought people and New York had dumbek fever! But I’ve never seen such dumbek fever as I’m witnessing here in Cairo!

Me and Natalia Perlaza Junior. Hey, who’s that on my drum head?

My class at the University keeps getting bigger and bigger. Every day more people ask me if they can come sit in even though they’re not registered!

My students adorable, and they are so into the dumbek! They stay after class to practice. I can’t get them to leave! One of my students came up to me after the class today and said, “Thanks so much, Ya Doktor! Most people come to University with books, but we get to come to University with tablas!”

The free class is getting bigger too. The first week I had 2 people, the second week I had about 10 people and a bunch of people I don’t know called to ask about the class next week! Every week I need to find a bigger place to hold it! Because of this, it has the quality of some kind of clandestine meeting – I don’t reveal the location of the class until the last minute!

I also have a private dumbek student and a kemenche student as well!

2nd Free Class – Downtown Cairo at Nader’s apartment.

I must say, I love the structure of having a class four mornings a weeks! I have a 20 minute walk through a lovely area of Cairo, past some beautiful mosques, parks, markets, etc. The people I meet on the way know me by now and they all say hi to me. Every day I stop at the juice place and have an orange juice on the way to school. Then I have a carrot juice at the same place on the way back. I get home with a carrot mustache on my face and Rami makes breakfast while I edit my book in the sun on the balcony. After breakfast I go back to bed.

I had a meeting with some people from TV stations yesterday. They are planning to cover the show and do some interviews beforehand.

Tonight we went to a concert of Bedouin music on an outdoor stage on the Nile. The percussion section was hilarious. It was a dumbek player, one guy playing a rusty gas tank and another guy who had an Israeli army artillery box with Hebrew on it and was playing on it with drum sticks! The gas tank sounded amazing! It has a great bass sound and the artillery box was almost like a riq!

The three of them reminded me of me, Rami and Carmine at the Figaro!

Hello, can you find me a source for an instruction book or tutorial for the kemenche.
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