Pakistan’s Hamza Akram Qawwal & Brothers, grandsons of the revered Munshi Raziuddin, have been acclaimed for their riveting interpretations of qawwali, the ecstatic improvisational Sufi vocal tradition made famous in the West by the late Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. This award-winning ensemble represents the 26th generation of the seven centuries-old Qawwal Bachon ka Gharana of Delhi founded by Saamat bin Ibrahim, the first qawwal of the subcontinent and principal student of mystic Amir Khusrau. Hamza has studied with the renowned Naseeruddin Saami, as well as with his uncle, Farid Ayaz Qawwal, with whom he and his brothers have toured. The ensemble builds a state of ecstasy through rhythmic handclapping, drumming and powerful vocals (similar to gospel in its call-and-response manner), and performs songs that range from 13th century mystical Persian poems to more recent Punjabi poems that speak of the intoxication of divine love.
Robert Browning Associates presents the 5th Annual A World in Trance Festival.
A World in Trance, now in its fifth edition, has been host to some of the world’s most captivating music, bringing people together in search of enlightenment and spirituality.
Funding is provided in part by the New York Community Trust