Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali

Thursday, October 9, 2014 | 8:00 pm

Reynolds Industries Theater


When Pakistani qawwali superstar Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan died in 1997, his family’s six-century musical tradition did not end. The legacy of qawwali — a devotional genre extolling mystical love and worship of God — was passed to his nephews, Rizwan and Muazzam, exceptional singers who carry on the Sufi tradition of musical devotion and exaltation.

Performing songs that use hypnotic vocal repetition to induce a state of ecstasy, the brothers’ soaring voices are backed by a gharana, an ensemble of harmonium and tabla accompanied by handclaps. Intoxicating and entrancing, “Rizwan and Muazzam’s voices climb and swoop as if riding air currents; the harmonium seeks a similar undulating flight path while fingertips flutter like hummingbirds across the tablas” (BBC).

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