Fareed Ayaz, Abu Muhammad Qawwal to perform in UK next month

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LONDON: One of the most celebrated, and arguably the finest qawwal party in the world today, Fareed Ayaz – Abu Muhammad Qawwal would be performing in the major cities of United Kingdom (UK) between April 5 and April 15, 2018. The performances would be at venues in London, Birmingham, and Manchester, and would be organised by Mehfil Arts.

“We represent the twenty-sixth generation of the very first qawwal in the world,” said Fareed Ayaz.

“We have been spreading the message of love, peace, and tolerance through Sufi qawwali music for eight centuries. The message is more important today than it has ever been in the past. The message of qawwali, if understood and appreciated, will make the world a kinder, gentler, and more peaceful place. That is the goal and purpose of qawwali,” he added.

“We aim to bring the music of South Asia to UK and Europe in an authentic, pure and faithful manner,” said Mehfil Arts Director Uzair Ansari “We find qawwali music to be the best medium to fulfill the purpose, and are extremely pleased to be able to bring one of the best qawwals in the world today to UK,” he added.

In addition to the shows, Mehfil Arts had partnered with local organisations to host seminars on qawwali in London and Manchester. Titled “The History, Art and Practice of Qawwali”, the seminar had been developed by renowned writer, speaker and ethnomusicologist Ally Adnan. The seminar would include demonstrations of qawwali by the celebrated Ghayoor – Moiz – Mustafa Qawwal and cover topics including the origin and evolution of qawwali, Sufism, the relationship between Islam and qawwali, the music of Pakistan and Northern India, Amir Khusrau’s contribution to the art of qawwali, the various genres and forms of qawwali, the etiquette of participating in a performance of qawwali and the essential elements of qawwali.

“It is important for us to educate the world about the rich, syncretic culture of South Asia,” said Ally Adnan. “The seminar has been designed to be both informative and entertaining. I believe that seminars such as this one will help build bridges within the people of different religious, political and cultural persuasions and promote the art of qawwali all over the world,” he added.

“We have conducted more than 40 seminars about qawwali all over the world,” Ghayoor-Moiz-Mustafa Qawwal leader Ghayoor Ahmed said. “As descendants of Miyan Saamat bin Ibrahim, it is our sacred duty to spread the message of qawwali all over the world. We feel that such seminars not only help educate the attendees but also make subsequent qawwali performances, which they attend, significantly more enjoyable and rewarding,” he added.

Qawwali is one of the world’s oldest oral traditions and celebrates love in all its diverse manifestations. Amir Khusrau formalised the genre of qawwali, in the thirteenth century and over the last eight centuries it had evolved into a universal song of love, peace and brotherhood.

The knowledgeable and talented Fareed Ayaz-Abu Muhammad Qawwal trace their ancestry to Miyan Samat bin Ibrahim, who was a disciple of Amir Khusrau, the inventor of qawwali, and the very first qawwal in the world. The qawwali of Fareed Ayaz-Abu Muhammad Qawwal represents the genre in its most pristine, pure and authentic form. Their musical tradition integrates spiritual, philosophical, religious, musical, and poetic elements to create an atmosphere that facilitates a spiritual connection between the participants in a mehfil-e-samaa – a gathering of listeners and performers of qawwali – and the ones they truly love.

Fareed Ayaz-Abu Muhammad Qawwal are known for the authenticity of their songs, their knowledge of melodic modes and rhythm, their extensive repertoire and their ability to engage, entertain and enthrall listeners. They travel the world, all year long, to perform qawwali. Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Mauritius Morocco, Nepal, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey, Zimbabwe, United Arab Emirates (UAE), UK and United States (US) are amongst the countries where they perform regularly.

Mehfil Arts is a London-based performing arts organisation, dedicated to the celebration of the rich cultural, historical and artistic heritage of South Asia. The organisation brings both prominent and upcoming artists from South Asia for concerts, workshops and seminars about the culture, arts and history, in Europe and UK.