As the Nile Flows
As the Nile Flows recounts the life of Nubian composer, singer, oud and tar virtuoso Hamza El Din (1929 – 2006), starting with his childhood in Egypt and tracing his journey through Sudan, Italy, Japan and the U.S. Having made Northern California his primary home since the late 1960s, Hamza left an indelible mark on the Bay Area’s musical community. His recordings and collaborations with the Kronos Quartet, the Grateful Dead, Lines and San Francisco Ballet among others introduced Nubian music to the West and showcased his unique voice and inimitable instrumental style. This live retrospective will feature excerpts from Hamza’s autobiography, anecdotes and memories shared by many of his friends, and performances by some of his collaborators including percussionists Mickey Hart and Zakir Hussain as well as longtime Kronos Quartet cellist Joan Jeanrenaud.
This event will take place on March 21 to highlight International Water Day and recall the Nubians’ deep connection to the Nile River. Hamza foretold the flooding of his ancestral homeland and the great Nubian migration due to the 1964 raising of the Aswan High Dam. He spoke of the plight of the Nubians all the while his music expressed his environmental ethic. As the Nile Flows is produced by Nile Project director Mina Girgis in association with the Presidio Theater and narrated by Dr. Arif Gamal – professor of Nubian poetry and environmental science. Net event proceeds will support Hamza’s Nubian community.