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Interview with Hisham Blues of Gilgamesh

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Gilgamesh is a band that performs an amazing variety of standard jazz covers; big band hits from the 30s 40s and 50s and also the good old Blues. The band is experienced in arranging the perfect entertainment for private events, hotels and venues, engagements, weddings, corporate events and valentine nights.

Gilgamesh...Why did you choose this name? What's its origin? And have you changed the band's name before?

Hatem El Nemr chose it…Gilgamesh is a hero of Babylonian and Sumerian epic poems and no, we didn't change it since our formation in 2003.


7 years since your formation...So, let’s start: How did you form your band?
Hatem started the band in 2003 with some members. The band’s members changed a lot. And all of them left the band except Hatem, who thought of reforming the band in 2006 with me, and then Ismael joined us in 2008. Later, all of the other members joined us. When they first started, it was an instrumental band; mainly they were playing Latin jazz. Now we have totally changed the color, and we are now playing old American jazz and blues.


Which Bands or musicians influenced you the most?
Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, and Nat King Cole


Gilgamesh 2The Bibliotheca summer music festival, can you please tell me about it?
Well, it was on 17th of July 2010. Our band won everything! Best singer, best pianist, best band, best trumpet player, best bassist, best trombone player, and finally best drummer.


With that amount of effort, any other live performance experience have you had?
Yeah, we had a live concert in 2008 at El Sawy Cultural Wheel. But in 2010, we had two live concerts in 14th of August and 1st of September. The number of fans was increasing every concert. We will have a live concert soon in October 2010.

Any originals?
Yeah, we are preparing for an album next year, and we already have some originals but we haven’t played them live before. One of them is called “I love”; it’s a swing jazz song.


What about your covered songs?

  • Hit the road jack - Ray Charles
  • Summer time - Louis Armstrong
  • When the Saints Go Marching In - Louis Armstrong
  • Georgia on my Mind – Ray Charles
  • Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy Waters
  • I feel good – James Brown

Practice makes perfect, do you have a set time each week in which you practice?
Yeah, each month we should at least have a rehearsal, and if we have a number of concerts in a short time so we have more than a rehearsal of course.


Of course everyone plays jazz keeps thinking of the somehow sleepy jazz scene in Egypt. Any comments?
Of course yes! I think that everyone who plays an odious music by the Egyptians is facing a lot of difficulties. But in the same time, it’s the musician’s fault not the audience’s one, as a good musician should attract audience by his awesome performance on stage, thinking of enjoying them regardless of their consideration.


Any last words?
Thanks a lot for your concern


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