Friday on the NewsHour, Jeffrey Brown profiles Fathy Salama in our series about the Kennedy Center’s Arabesque art festival. Salama began playing the piano at age 6 and performing at Cairo clubs at 13. He grew up surrounded by Arabic music. One day, listening to Voice of America he heard jazz and instantly fell in love. He followed that passion to New York where he studied with several American jazz masters. Since then he’s worked tirelessly to combine jazz with traditional Arabic music. Recently he’s been reaching out to cultures from around the globe. In 2004, he won a Grammy Award for his collaboration with world music superstar Youssou N’Dour for the album “Egypt,” which featured Islamic Sufi music.
Here is a clip of Salama performing “Sultan Bashraf”: