<p>Hamza El Din (July 10, 1929 – May 22, 2006) was a Nubian composer, oud player, tar player, and vocalist.
Born in the village of Toshka, near Wadi Halfa in southern Egypt, he was originally trained to be an electrical engineer. After working in Cairo for the Egyptian national railroad, El Din changed direction and began to study music at the Cairo University, continuing his studies at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome; he also studied in Ibrahim Shafiq's Institute of Music and the King Fouad Institute for Middle Eastern Music, and traveled in Egypt on a government grant collecting folksongs. His performances attracted the attention of the Grateful Dead, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan in the 1960s, which led to a recording contract and to his eventual emigration to the United States. Like much of Egyptian Nubia, his home village of Toshka was flooded due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s.
Following his appearance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1964, he recorded two albums for Vanguard Records released 1964–65; his 1971 recording Escalay: The Water Wheel is recognized as one of the first world music recordings to gain wide release in the West, and was</p>