Educational Tours

America’s most celebrated qawwali party
— Chronogram, 2016
I was completely swept away!
— NPR Music, 2015
 The ensemble's interpretation of "South Asian gospel music" (qawwali) transcends religion and other fictitious, man-made boundaries.

The ensemble's interpretation of "South Asian gospel music" (qawwali) transcends religion and other fictitious, man-made boundaries.

Hosted by museums and universities, Riyaaz Qawwali conducts lecture-demonstrations, talks and discussions in addition to their performances. Riyaaz Qawwali is committed to increasing opportunities for all people to participate in and understand qawwali, bhajan and kirtan -the devotional music of South Asia. Ensemble-lead talks & discussions provide students a very unique perspective: an outlook at the crossroads between performance and scholarship.

Universities and schools are finding that the inclusion of the music in a broad-based curriculum improves the quality of a child's educational experience. Our ensemble teaches in colleges and in the K - 12 system, with tailored lessons to fit the respective age groups. And because the knowledge of the art makes good teachers better, Riyaaz Qawwali has led workshops for educators and teachers. These in-depth engagements leave a lasting impression with audiences, regardless of their initial unfamiliarity with qawwali. The goals of the educational tours are to:

  • showcase the qawwali musical heritage

  • experience the traditional qawwali performance with English commentary

  • explore the poetry used in the qawwali genre

  • understand the cultural context of qawwali and other under-represented folk musical forms of South Asia

Tours currently being planned:

  1. Massachusetts- September 2018. This includes a University engagement.

  2. Pennsylvania- October 2018. This includes a University engagement.

Completed Tours:

  1. New York - November 2014. This included concerts at two prominent universities in Manhattan.

  2. Lost Angeles- June 2015. This included concerts at a music festival in Santa Barbara.

  3. New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania- October 2015. This included a music festival, Richmond Elementary School, a university, a residency at a Pennsylvania college.

  4. New York- March 2016. This included a University of Rochester engagements and concert at The Garrison Institute.

  5. California- April 2016. This included concerts at the prominent Getty Museum in LA.

  6. Louisiana- April 2016. This included concerts at the Festival International de Louisiane.

  7. New York, New Jersey- August 2016. This included public and benefit concerts.

  8. Ohio- October 2016. This included concerts at Oberlin University.

  9. Florida- March 2017. This included a concert at a music festival.

  10. Florida- August 2017. This included a concert at a major museum.

  11. Texas- November 2017. This included a University engagement.

  12. New Hampshire- January 2018. This included a University engagement.

  13. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas- March 2018. This included 3 concerts at Penn State, Kenyon College & UH Clear Lake.

  14. Illinois- April 2018. This include a concert at prominent university in Chicago.

  15. Texas- May 2018. This included a museum engagement.

  16. Montana- July 2018. This included a music festival.

  17. Texas- August 2018. This includes a university engagement.