Often referred to as the “Godfather of Nubian soul” composer and band leader Ali Hassan Kuban has undoubtedly left his mark on the Egyptian and Nubian soundscapes and even wedding music. Teaching himself the clarinet and bagpipe from a young age, he moved to Cairo and slowly dominated the wedding music scene.
Things changed for Ali however when he first heard a jazz outfit from Harlem perform at Zamalek’s GSC, from the other side of the fence. In the following years Kuban would incorporate jazz and soul into his music and break through internationally, playing around Europe and North America between the late '80s and early '90s.
Ali sadly passed away in 2001, aged 71. This year German label Piranha is re-releasing his From Nubia To Cairo LP and together with this release, they published an unseen interview with the man himself in Germany in 1989. The interview touches on his musical style, the 1963 Nubian displacement, the size and ethos of his band, and funny encounters at the Cuban embassy.