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Egyptian native Hossam Ramzy is the leader and chief percussionist of Pharaoh's Egyptian Ensemble, best known to Western listeners as the backing group featured on Robert Plant and Jimmy Page's No Quarter tour and album. Ramzy began playing the darabouka (Egyptian tabla) at a young age, much to his father's dismay. He moved to Saudi Arabia as a teenager, learning his craft while supporting himself by playing trap drums for radio and television programs. In 1975, he moved to England to study jazz drumming for a while, and eventually recorded an album called Introduction to Egyptian Dance Rhythms. Peter Gabriel heard the record and invited Ramzy to play on Passion, his soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ. Before embarking on the Page/Plant tour, Ramzy also worked with Joan Armatrading, Marc Almond, Electric Light Orchestra, Debbie Harry, and Killing Joke. His Pharaoh's Egyptian Ensemble has also recorded over a dozen albums, on which Ramzy attempts to present Egyptian and Arabic music he hopes Western audiences will be able to understand and appreciate through his arrangements, rhythm choices, mixing touches, and tempos. In 2000, Ramzy released Sabla Tolo: Journeys Into Pure Egyptian Percussion and El Amar. Gypsies of the Nile-Rahhal followed in early 2001. ~ Steve Huey