Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Hamza El Din

One of the things I developed while following The Dead around was an appreciation of World Music. Music from other cultures (in my case, mostly percussion-based music from Africa) that I had never been exposed to before. I developed a real appreciation for not only the power, but the beauty of drums. That's where the title of this blog comes from. A dumbek is a small hand drum, usually from the Middle East or North Africa.

One of the artists that I grew quite fond of was Hamza El Din. He came from North Africa, playing the oud and the tar - a frame drum that looks kind of like a big tambourine without the jangly things. The beautiful and hypnotic sounds he would get from both instruments was nothing short of stunning.

I was lucky enough to see Hamza El Din sit-in with The Dead once. Amazing. You should have seen all of the hippies completely transfixed by him. Even Jerry couldn't hold their attention that closely.

Hamza El Din died earlier this week after complications with brain surgery. SoundRoots has a nice write-up about him.


Ollin Arageed

I can't say enough good things about his album Eclipse. Everyone should own it. Go buy it and thank me later. The song will only be up for a few days.

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