PULLMAN, Wash. — Music enthusiasts will be transported to eastern realms when Hamza El Din brings his voice and compositions to Washington State University in a concert set for 8 p.m., Oct. 2, in Bryan Hall Theatre.
The free event “Clarity: An Evening of Music With Hamza El Din,” which is sponsored by the WSU Visual, Performing, and Literary Arts Committee.
Hamza will perform his compositions on the oud (the Arabian short-necked lute) and the tar (the ancient single-skinned frame drum). His performances combine the subtle sounds of Arabic music with his native Nubian influences to create the hypnotic and passionate sound that is his alone.
Western audiences discovered Hamza after a performance at the Newport Folk Festival, the U.N. Human Rights Day and Vanguard in 1964. Since then, he has released 14 CDs with recordings featured on movie soundtracks including “Black Stallion,” “You Are What You Eat” and “The Passion in the Desert.”
Ballet companies throughout the world have performed his compositions including San Francisco Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet and Molissa Fenley Dance Company.
He is best known in the U.S. for his recording “Elipse,” created and engineered by Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart.
Hamza was born in Toshka, Nubia, Egypt. He has studied at universities throughout the world, including King Fouad University (now the University of Cairo). He mastered the oud while at the King Fouad Institute for Middle Eastern Music and studied Western music and classical guitar at the Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome.
He immigrated to the United States in the early 1960s and has since been an ethnomusicologist at the University of Ohio, the University of Washington and the University of Texas.
Hamza currently resides in the San Francisco Bay area and continues to teach, compose and record as well as tour worldwide.