The Kennedy Center

Fathy Salama


Fathy Salama was born in Cairo, Egypt, and grew up listening to the family radio where he drew inspiration from the music of Uum Kulthum, Abdel El Wahab, and Farid el Attrash. Salama started playing the piano at the age of six and began performing in Cairo clubs from the age of thirteen. Venturing beyond the banks of the Nile to explore the worlds of Jazz and world traditional music, he traveled to Europe and to New York to learn from such great artists as Barry Harris, Sun Râ, Malik Osman, Hal Galper, Ossman Kareem, and Pat Patrick.
In Cairo throughout the 1980s, Salama produced hits for stars such as Amr Diab, Mohammed Monir, Aly Al Haggar, and Anoushka; he won awards for his soundtracks for the films Fallen Angels Paradise and Signs of April. It is with his own group, Sharkiat, that Salama works to fulfill his dream of merging modern and traditional music, expressing both a message from his home country and his love of music. In one of his most notable collaborations, Salama partnered with Senegalese musician Youssou N'Dour on Egypt, winner of the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album.
Today, Fathy Salama's adventures of discovery continue, bringing him on new musical explorations while continually introducing his extraordinary work to new audiences the world over.  
"There is nothing more interesting than forging new styles, and nothing more exciting. The biggest attraction is being mysterious." -- Fathy Salama
Camel Dance (1991)
Color Me Cairo (1994)
Camel Road (1996)
Don't Climb the Pyramids (with Les Maniacs) (1998)
Sultany (2006)
Fathy Salama