Riyaaz Qawwali performs the gripping music style called qawwali, or Sufi music. The qawwali singers represent the diversity and plurality of South Asia. The ensemble’s musicians, who are settled in the United States, hail from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh and represent multiple religious and spiritual backgrounds. Trained in eastern and western classical music, the members have been professionally performing qawwali for the past 15 years. With conservative growth and heightened attention to quality, Riyaaz Qawwali has performed across the continental U.S., in Panama, and debuted in Europe in 2017.
Riyaaz Qawwali’s mission is to expose qawwali to new audiences, while still paying homage to traditional qawwali that has been in existence for 700+ years. The ensemble wants to expand the reach of the genre to new stages and people of other faiths and traditions. The founding members of Riyaaz Qawwali chose the qawwali genre of music because it houses unique musical elements in its repertoire that are not found in any other form of South Asian music. Riyaaz Qawwali combines this with poetry from famous South Asian poets of multiple linguistic and religious backgrounds to create a universal message of oneness (Riyaaz Qawwali incorporates works from poetic giants like Mirza Ghalib, Amir Khusrow, Bulleh Shah, Mir Taqi Mir, Sant Kabir, and Guru Nanak, and in doing so, hopes to expose these poets’ works to new audiences and younger generations). Riyaaz Qawwali also uses numerous languages to represent the linguistic and cultural diversity that exists in South Asia. These languages include Urdu, Punjabi, Persian, Gujarati, and Hindi.
Qawwali is a venerable yet refreshing musical tradition that dates back to the late 13th century. The word qaul refers to an “utterance (of the prophet)” and the first Qawwals (qawwali artists) repeated these qauls by making them the subject matter of their qawwalis.
Qawwalis are far lengthier than a typical modern song. They average 15 minutes, with the longest single track being on the upwards of 70 minutes! Audiences today are used to listening to short pieces. The Experiment aims to bridge the gap between Audiences and Qawwalis.
Punjabi Folk Music
The Wadali Brothers – Puranchand Wadali and Pyarelal Wadali – are Sufi singers and musicians from Guru Ki Wadali in the Amritsar District in Punjab, India.
RAHAT FATEH ALI KHAN’S SONGS Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is a Pakistani musician, who has had several hits in Bollywood.He is the nephew of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Shabad + Bhajan
THE QAWWALI EXPERIMENT Qawwalis are far lengthier than a typical modern song. They average 15 minutes, with the longest single track being on the upwards of 70 minutes!