Take a taxi across the Nile to the Agouza district where the Cairo Jazz Club sometimes features Egyptian artists performing American blues—but is most lively when guests hit the dance floors at genre-mixing live performances fusing Eastern sounds with global rhythms. This is also the place to discover contemporary percussive Ja’afary singing from Upper Egypt, Egyptian electronica, and DJ sets mingling Middle Eastern and international house music styles. For another kind of musical immersion, visit Makan, in a repurposed 19th-century print shop in the Mounira neighborhood, dedicated to preserving endangered traditional Egyptian instruments and oral performance styles. These include Zikr, a singing, dancing, and percussive art; Sufi remembrance singing; and Coptic liturgical chanting. Live performances on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings draw a low-key crowd who mingle with musicians over complimentary tea and hibiscus drinks during intermission. Makan sits next door the Saad Zaghloul Mausoleum and Beit al Umma (House of the Nation) Museum; the former a neo-pharaonic masterpiece, the latter a 19th-century villa housing the belongings (including two stuffed parrots) of the Egyptian nationalist. Finish your evening with dinner at Taboula, an excellent Lebanese restaurant in nearby Garden City.
The Umm Khaltoum Museum is at the southernmost tip of Rhoda Island, next to the El Manasterly Palace. The Nilometer is even further to the south. The Manial Palace is in the northern portion of Rhoda Island, next to the Al Saraya bridge.
UMM KHALTOUM MUSEUM: 1 El-Malek El-Saleh St.; 20-2-2363-1467
EL MANASTERLY PALACE: 1 El-Malek El-Saleh St.
NILOMETER: 1 El-Malek El-Saleh St.
MANIAL PALACE: 1 Al Saraya; 20-2-2368-7495