Last Sunday 22 January saw the 18th-century Islamic-style house Bayt al-Sinnari
in Sayeda Zeinab, Cairo, host an evening of Egyptian heritage music. The
magnificent stonewalls lined with mashrabiya (lattice woodwork) windows
embracing the courtyard acted as the perfect setting for an evening of music and
song by Toras, literally heritage, band. Bayt al-Sinnari is now used as a venue for
The repertoire included old favourites by Sayed Darwish (1892 – 1923), one of
Egypt’s greatest musicians who brought back to life authentic Egyptian folk music
following centuries during which Ottoman court music dominated the Egyptian
scene. Toras also performed works by Zakariya Ahmed whose star rose in the
1940s and 50s, and Sheikh Imam of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.
Toras group is a band whose members studied music at “The Arabic Oud House”
that was created in 1999 in Cairo by the Iraqi oud player Naseer Shamma.
Following graduation, Toras founded their own band and their first recital
coincided with Sayed Darwish’s death anniversary. They held several
performances at the Sayed Darwish Theatre in Alexandria, as well as al-Sawy
cultural wheel and Bayt al-Sinnari in Cairo.
They are known to introduce music in which they offer a unique blend of oriental
instruments and modern techniques to reach new generations of audiences.
24 January 2017