Riyaaz Qawwali

Riyaaz Qawwali (7 musician ensemble)

About


Riyaaz Qawwali represents the unique 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 sing devotional music. While they are ethnically diverse, they also represent multiple spiritual backgrounds, which they incorporate into their music. Trained in both Eastern and Western classical music, the musicians have been professionally performing qawwali for the past ten years. With conservative growth and heightened attention to quality, Riyaaz Qawwali has now released two albums, been featured on NPR and Huffington Post and is constantly sharing new music for free on social media.


Artist Links: Website  |  Facebook

Areas of Representation: The Americas, UK, Australia, New Zealand

Biography

Riyaaz Qawwali represents the unique 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 sing devotional music. While they are ethnically diverse, they also represent multiple spiritual backgrounds, which they incorporate into their music. Trained in both Eastern and Western classical music, the musicians have been professionally performing qawwali for the past ten years. With conservative growth and heightened attention to quality, Riyaaz Qawwali has now released two albums, been featured on NPR and Huffington Post and is constantly sharing new music for free on social media.

Riyaaz Qawwali’s mission is to expose new audiences to qawwali, while still paying homage to the tradition that has existed for 700+ years. The founding members of Riyaaz Qawwali chose the qawwali genre of music because it is home to unique musical elements not found in any other form of South Asian music. Riyaaz Qawwali combines traditional works with poetry from famous South Asian poets of multiple linguistic and religious backgrounds (poetic giants like Mirza Ghalib, Amir Khusrow, Bulleh Shah, Sant Kabir and Guru Nanak) to create a universal message of oneness. Riyaaz Qawwali uses the Urdu, Punjabi, Persian, Gujarati, and Hindi languages to represent the linguistic and cultural diversity that exists among the South Asian immigrants settled across Europe and North America.

For the past two years, the ensemble has been making a concentrated effort to move the qawwali tradition forward into the 21st century, composing and performing songs that grapple with issues faced by 1st and 2nd generation immigrants today. Separately, projects like Riyaaz Experiment (launched in 2016) attempt to narrow the gap between modern music and qawwali by presenting shorter pieces that use modern musical elements and accent the intellectual dialogue often overlooked within qawwali. Most notably, Riyaaz Qawwali is working on recording projects with mid-sized corporations that allow the businesses to use their music in the workspace to overcome stereotypes and celebrate diversity.

Tour Dates

Future Tour Dates

View Tour History

Jan 19, 2018 Get Info/Tix
Hanover, NH USA Hopkins Center for the Arts
8:00PM  


Videos

News

  • Paul Krugman; DakhaBrakha in Kiev

    Friday Night Music: Dakhabrakha in Kyiv

    New York Times
    September 15, 2017 12:22 pm

    Since that’s where I am at the moment. It is, by the way, a surprisingly handsome city. Just looking at the city center you’d have no idea how much stress Ukraine is under.
    For those who haven’t seen previous clips, no, they aren’t doing ...

  • Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares included in NPR’s “The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women” NPR has created “a list of the greatest albums made by women between 1964 and the present, as an intervention, a remedy, a correction of the historical record and hopefully the start of a new conversation. Compiled by nearly 50 women from across NPR and the public radio system and produced in partnership with Lincoln ...
  • Russia’s riot grrrl activists, Pussy Riot, bringing their psych rock theater production, “REVOLUTION” to SXSW and West Coast.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2/24/2017
    Russia’s riot grrrl activists, Pussy Riot, reveal a 9 date West Coast warm-up tour around the SXSW premiere of their psych rock theater production, “REVOLUTION.”
    Based on the original novel by Maria Alyokhina, this show tells the story of everyday women gathering to resist the fascist regime of President Vladimir Putin. From their ...

  • Gisele João Headlines First NY Fado Festival Gisele João, Portugal’s most widely acclaimed fado singer to emerge in this decade, headlined the NY Fado Festival this past weekend at the Schimmel Center. Jon Pareles of the NY Times had this to say:
    “From her first song, “Madrugada sem Sono” (“Dawn Without Sleep”), Ms. João summoned a full spectrum of fado’s tempestuous passions, from ...


Press

“Riyaaz Qawwali wants to spread the message of Sufism in Trump’s America.” – Huffington Post India

“Interfaith awareness is at the heart of Texas-based music ensemble Riyaaz Qawwali” – Huffington Post


“…one of [Austin’s] more unusual groups is tapping into a sound that has nothing to do with indie rock or hip-hop. They’re called Riyaaz Qawwali.”  – NPR


“The performance was mesmerizing as the group moved from one Qawwali to another. A few people danced in ecstasy toward the climax.”  – India Herald

Downloads/Media

Technical Riders:

Artist Rider 2016 – 6 person: Download (pdf)

Artist Rider 2016 – 7 person: Download (pdf)



Press Photos (High Resolution):

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