The Riyaaz Qawwali ensemble was established on a college campus in the US 12 years ago. Since then, it has toured the country, debuting in Europe in 2017. Artistic Director and founder of Riyaaz Qawwali, Sonny Mehta will share his personal story from learning classical music to performing qawwali, the musical genre commonly associated with the Sufi tradition in South Asia. He will demonstrate the basics of qawwali, unfolding the relevant musical elements, poetry and important performance aspects. With the backdrop of the history of qawwali in the US, he will share Riyaaz Qawwali’s journey and how the ensemble has found their voice through performances, breaking, in the process, cultural and religious barriers.
Muslim Societies in South Asia Series, chair: Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard Univerity
Co-sponsored by The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, and the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education