Egyptian percussionist Said El Artist was brought up in a musical family, surrounded by the music of his seven brothers in a house filled with the sounds of accordion, piano, and -- of course -- tabla. Said's father, Hagy Abou, was one of the best-known singers in Alexandria, so it was a natural transition for Said to move toward performance as a career. By the age of ten, Said was completely in love with the tabla (aka darbouka or dumbek). He began playing for weddings and parties while still quite young, and before long he had worked with the most famous musicians and dancers in the city.
As his renown grew in Cairo, Said became connected with the best dancers in the nation, performing throughout the Middle East. In the course of his adult life Said came to work with the most recognized pop stars and dancers in the Arab world, including Nagua Fouad, Fifi Abdou, and Sahar Hamdy. At the top of the instrumental world, Said did what many in that position do -- innovate. Seeking to bring fame and honor to his beloved family of instruments, Said created a school of percussion and an all-percussion performance group, playing complex repertoire and showcasing each of the specific instruments in turn. Over the years the band went from including 15 players to nearly 50, becoming something of an institution in the Arab music world. Said El Artist's mastery and passion were first documented in 2005 on his debut record, Belly Dancers Drummer, followed two years later by his second album, Spectacular Rhythms. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez?, All Music Guide