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, 2019 Get Info/Tix
New York, NY USA Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine
7:30PM  

Tour History

Return to Future Tour Dates

2018
Jul 15, 2018 Montana Folk Festival Venue Info
Butte, MT USA MT Folk Festival site
7:00 PM  
Jul 14, 2018 Montana Folk Festival Venue Info
Butte, MT USA MT Folk Festival site
7:00 PM  
Jan 19, 2018 Venue Info
Hanover, NH USA Hopkins Center for the Arts
8:00PM  


Videos

News

  • DakhaBrakha featured on PRI’s “The World” Marco Werman and Allison Herrera recently discussed a DakhaBrakha concert at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis on their summer tour of the USA.

    “When you go to hear the Ukrainian band, DakhaBrakha, the first thing you notice is their outfits.

    The group’s three female vocalists, Iryna Kovalenko, Olena Tsybulska and Nina Garanetska, wear towering hats made of black lamb’s ...

  • Songlines Music Awards 2018 Nominees! Congratulations to two Riot Artists performers who have each been nominated in multiple categories for the Songlines Music Awards 2018!

    Oumou Sangaré: Best Artist; and Africa & Middle East
     

    Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino: Best Group; and Europe
    We wish them luck in the awards ceremony in October!

  • 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 ...


Press

“Riyaaz Qawwali wants to spread the message of Sufism in Donald  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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