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From Nubia to Cairo

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Album Review

Kuban's place in Egypt's musical history is one of an innovator who updated many traditional Nubian songs with the addition of electric instruments. Augmenting classical instruments like the oud, tar, and darabouka, Kuban beefed up his bands with amp-ready guitars, organ, fender bass, and keyboards. This was back in the late '50s. Kuban continues to tend to his "day job," playing many weddings every year and producing other acts in Egypt and neighboring Sudan, but he has also been able to cut many fine albums like this one from Shanachie. Featuring huge regional hits like "Sukkar, Sukkar, Sukkar" and "Amira," From Nubia to Cairo is a nonstop parade of dance-friendly grooves, solo-harmony vocals, and dizzying instrumental charts. A star in his homeland for close to 30 years, Kuban now brings his brand of modern Nubian dance music to a wider audience with this excellent release.


Born: 1933 in Gotha, Egypt

Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Ali Hassan Kuban is a master singer and popularizer of Nubian music, a typically vocal expression native to the border region of Egypt and Sudan. In the mid '50s, Kuban added electric guitars, keys, a horn section, and percussion to his music, fusing traditional songs of love with uptempo pop instruments...
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From Nubia to Cairo, Ali Hassan Kuban
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