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Mahmoud Fadl: Nubian Master Drummer

Dec 4, 2007
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"A few years ago, at the Love Parade in Berlin, it took a very special form-a drum & DJ project called UNITED NUBIANS that spread the message of the "Black Pharaohs" to the club circuit. The project survived the occasion and today, on the dark stage, I sometimes travel home on a tribal house beat to the rhythms of my childhood. "
Mahmoud Fadl

Mahmoud Fadl, the celebrated Nubian Master Drummer was born in 1955. He was raised in the cities of Assuan and Cairo in Egypt, and his Nubian background is rooted in the Griot culture of the "Battikol" people. Mahmoud started out as a musician at Nubian and Arabic wedding events as well as a limbo dancer. He soon became a much sought after commodity, playing with the likes of Ahmed Adawia and Nubian legend Ali Hassan Kuban. After a number of international tours, Mahmoud Fadl secured a place for his music in Europe and started to develop an international portfolio.

The Nubian people's legacy extends far into antiquity, predating Egyptian civilization. Some recent finds by French archaeologists have suggested that Nubia pre-dated Egypt by as much as 3,000 years and is, in all likelihood, the source of Egyptian civilization. The flooding of the Aswan dam, forced Mahmoud Fadl and thousands of Nubians to leave their homeland in Nubia, which is located today in Northern Sudan and Southern Egypt and drowned old Nubia and countless Nubian monuments and historical sites.

As a musical director, Mahmoud Fadl contributed to a four album project called "Salamat", released on Piranha records, which focussed on the music of the legendary and suppressed Nubian culture. He has four albums released under his own name and on one of them pays a Nubian homage to deceased pan-Arabian diva Umm Kalthoum, showcasing the voice of Salwa Abou Greisha from the famous Greisha family of Nubian musicians, with accompaniment from the Cairo Opera. Mahmoud's album "Drummers of the Nile", features ancient music from along the nile, and he collaborates with fellow drummers Gaafar Hargal and Hamdi Matoul, Nubian wedding diva Salma and many more musicians. He has also collaborated with The Klezmatics (New York), Orientalist piano player Maurice El Medioni (Marseille/Oran) and the famous gypsy saxophone player Ferus Mustafov (Skopje). Mahmoud also introduced western audiences to the distinguished grandmaster of oriental trumpet, Samy El Bably, on an alluring album called "Love Letters from King Tut-Ank Amen."

Today, Mahmoud travels between Cairo and Berlin working on various projects. His current tribal house project entitled "United Nubians" has earned him much international acclaim in the vibrant Berlin club scene. In addition to his work as a musician, film actor and fashion designer, Mahmoud Fadl frequently performs with the West-African Griot Ensemble, "Saf-Sap" on oriental wedding and musical workshops.

You can listen to Mahmoud Fadl and many more African musicians at Kemet Music Radio.

Selected Discography:

Album: Drummers of The Nile In Town
Label: Piranha
Year: 2003

Album: Drummers of The Nile Go South
Label: Piranha
Year: 2001

Album: Umm Kalthoum 7000
Label: Piranha
Year: 2000

Album: Love Letters From King Tut-Ank Amen
Label: Piranha
Year: 1998

Album: Ezzayakoum
Label: Piranha
Year: 1998

Album: Drummers of the Nile
Label: Piranha
Year: 1997

Album: Nubiana
Label: Piranha
Year: 1996

Album: Salam Delta
Label: Piranha
Year: 1995

Album: Mambo El Soudani
Label: Piranha
Year: 1994
About the Author
Pianki is the Executive Director of Kemet Music Radio, as well as being the Chief Editor and a contribution writer. He has worked for several years in the film and television industry.
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