Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hamza El Din: the last turn of the water wheel

cd cover
It's been a bad week for world music, first with the passing of rai great Cheikha Rimitti, and now Nubian master musician Hamza El Din

Hamza el Din was at the forefront of the first wave of 'world music' with his recording "Escalay" (1971) and brought the music of North Africa the same kind of attention that Ravi Shankar was bringing to the music of India. He made the ud an important part of the global movement towards international musical communication. He was also a great believer in the healing power inherent in music, and made that part of his mission.

he also never shied away from experimentation, performing with many diverse musicians from around the world, including Kronos Quartet. His 1999 recording "A Wish" inlcuded contributions from Kronos cellist Joan Jeanrenaud, composer and pianist W.A. Mathieu, Jordanian percussionist Hani Naser and Japanese diva Shizuru Ohtaka.

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