Ramy Adly is an American/Egyptian artist, young master of the Oud, the versatile Guitar- like instrument that shaped Arab classical music. Grounded in the main Middle Eastern, ancient Egypt and the Arab classical styles thanks to rigorous training in his native Egypt, Adly has branched out repeatedly, incorporating jazz idioms and embracing conversations with other large musicians around the world.
Adly has performed around the Middle East, Europe, and North America. He has composed music for theater and film, and gathered a large number of students around the world, via an innovative online curriculum he created, called School of Oud Online. His sensitive, robust playing has been heard from the Library at Alexandria to American cathedrals and schools. Now based in Washington, DC, Adly continues to expand the possibilities of his instrument. “I want to bring the oud to the same level as the guitar culturally, the instrument that’s everywhere and can do everything,” he exclaims.
For Adly, the oud has always been like a member of the family. Nearly everyone in his family played the oud when he was growing up in Cairo, including uncles, siblings, and his beloved grandfather, who gave him his first introduction to the complex, evocative instrument. “I grew up listening to the oud,” he recalls.
Listening is one thing, and mastering the instrument another. Adly plunged into his study of this age-old instrument at the Arab Oud House, with Iraqi oud virtuoso Naseer Shamma. Adly found himself practicing for a dozen hours a day, and loving it. "It was a lot like the system Paganini established for his students," Adly explains. “You have to go through the fire to be trained as a performer and composer. I graduated as both composer and soloist.”