If the late, great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948-97) was known as “the emperor of Qawwali,” Asif Ali Khan — who was once hailed by the maestro as one of his best students — has surely emerged as the music’s reigning prince. Asif is a superstar in his native Pakistan and a powerful figure on the international stage, remaining faithful to the sublime traditions of devotional Sufi music. His music can be meditative and trance-inducing, before, at a turn, becoming thrilling and ecstatic. To hear his voice soaring above the call-and-response choruses, rhythmic hand claps, percussion, and harmonium of his accompanying musicians is an inspiring experience whether you’re an adherent of the Sufi faith or not. The group performs in Ann Arbor on the evening prior to their Carnegie Hall debut.
UMS brings Asif Ali Khan to Ann Arbor in conjunction with UMMA’s exhibition of Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art on view January 25 – May 4, 2014.
Program Book [PDF]