Riyaaz Qawwali Debuts Second Album: “ISHQ”

ISHQ 1in

By Hira Uddin

HOUSTON: Asia Society is hosting the album release concert for the acclaimed musical group, Riyaaz Qawwali at The Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater on Saturday, March 21.

This Saturday at 5 pm, join Asia Society and Riyaaz Qawwali, as they celebrate the long-awaited debut of their second album titled, Ishq. Having recently performed at GlobalFest and featured on NPR, the program/concert will explore the meaning of Ishq (translated as “love” in Urdu) as conveyed through ghazals (a specific poetic styling). With Riyaaz Qawwali’s mission to expose qawwali to  new audiences while still paying homage to the 700 year old tradition, they are pushing the envelope with this new album yet again. Musically, the listener will have 5 original compositions ranging from Raag Madhuvanti, to Raag Desh to Raag Patdeep. And lyrically, they will enjoy the juxtaposition of wonderful poetry (i.e. Ahmed Faraz’s ‘Shikwa’ put next to Tahir Faraz’s ghazal Itna bhi karam unka koi kum to nahi hai). For event details, visit asiasociety.org/texas/events/asia-society-presents-riyaaz-qawwali-performs-ghazal.

After their groundbreaking multi-faith qawwali album, Kashti, Riyaaz Qawwali continues to delve deeper into the rich literature of South Asia through the musical framework of qawwali. Their new album, Ishq,  takes ghazal poetry to show themes of longing , desire, passion and even distrust. Work by poets from India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, were used in the CD and will be showcased at the concert. Poetic inspirations are drawn from famed writers such as Ghalib, Mir, Khusrau and S. Batalvi.

The audience will have the opportunity to listen to the unique musical prowess of the nine multi-talented musicians of Riyaaz Qawwali. Although the members are of different  spiritual and ethnic backgrounds, their greatest bond is the union in which they are singularly upholding the tradition of qawwali in the United States. The ensemble wants to expand the reach of the genre to people  of other faiths and traditions.

Join Asia Society and Riyaaz Qawwali for an unforgettable night of inspirational music, this Saturday!

For further details contact Sonny with Riyaaz Qawwali Party  at RiyaazQawwali@gmail.com