Hamza El Din - Artist Page
Hamza El Din
Discography  ·  Similar Music

Hamza El Din was responsible for the re-introduction of the ?ud (an ancient Arab instrument that is the precursor of the European lute) and other melodic instruments to the music of Nubia, a land that until recently had changed little since the time of the Pharaohs.

He was well known for several recordings, including Escalay: The Water Wheel and Eclipse, which was produced by Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart.

He appeared regularly with the Kronos Quartet, which commissioned him to arrange Escalay: The Water Wheel for its chart-topping Pieces of Africa album (Elektra/Nonesuch).

His music appeared in film soundtracks, including The Black Stallion, You Are What You Eat and The Passion in the Desert, and has been performed by many dance companies, including the Maurice Bejart Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet and the Molissa Fenley Dance Company.

Hamza was born in Wadi Halfa, a village in Nubia now covered by the waters of the Aswan High Dam. He studied at the Institute of the renowned Arab master musician Ibrahim Shafiq and the King Fouad Institute for Middle Eastern music.

After studying Western music in Rome, he emigrated to the U.S. where he lived and worked as a recording and concert artist and taught as an ethnomusicologist in several American universities.

During the 1980s he went to Tokyo to make a comparative study between the Arab ?ud and the Japanese biwa. His last residence was the San Francisco Bay area.

He passed away May 22nd, 2006. He died from complications after brain surgery at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, California.


Escalay (originally issued in 1968/Nonesuch, 1998)

Eclipse  (Rykodisc, 1990)

Music of Nubia (Vanguard Records, 1991)

Al Oud (Vanguard Records, 1994)

A Song of the Nile (JVC, 1994)

Lily of the Nile (Water Lily Acoustics, 1995)

Muwashshah (originally released by JVC in 1996/Alula, 2005)

Darius (Lotus Records, 1998)

A Wish (Gemini Sun Records, 1999)

Similar Music:
Ud (a.k.a. l'ud & oud)