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Qawwal maestros light up a cool Karachi night

December 19, 2011

Qawwals Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad perform for a crowd at T2F in Karachi. - PHOTO Salman Haqqi/

KARACHI: As the curtain falls on 2011 and the evenings cool down, Farid Ayaz and Abu Mohammad brought their fiery brand of qawwali to entertainment-starved Karachiites on Sunday at the literary and cultural oasis that T2F is fast becoming.

The two sons of the legendary qawwal Munshi Raziuddin have revived this form of recitation of Sufi literature over the last few decades and are keeping the art alive by preparing their younger generation to take the stage and fill their shoes in years to come.

The performance on Sunday, was a lively an intimate gathering of about 50 in attendance. The qawwal maestros captivated listeners, both young and old, with their performance of traditional Sufi works, which included the poetry of Hazrat Amir Khusro and Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi.

Ayaz and Mohammad belong to one of the most well-known gharanas of Qawwali, named “Qawwal Bachon ka Gharana” of Delhi.

Their tradition goes back almost 705 years and was started by Saamat bin lbrahim, the principal student of Hazrat Amir Khusrau. This gharana has produced famous Ustads like the late Ustad Tan Ras Khan, court musician and tutor in classical music to Itabrader Shah.

Ayaz started his training in classical music at a tender age under the rigorous and critical tutelage of his late father Ustad Raziuddin, who himself was an outstanding classical musician and a recipient of the Pakistan President's Pride of Performance medal.

An accomplished musician in the genre of classical music, Ayaz is also versed in the traditional classical naag, and has been performing professionally for the last 30 years.

The duo has performed all over the world including countries such as UK, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Portugal, Austria, Croatia, Turkey, Morocco, Greece, Egypt, Bulgaria, Tunisia, Belgium, Iran, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and many others.

Ayaz has been trained in various genres of classical music such as dhrupad, khayal, tarana, thumria and dadra which he blends beautifully during his performances. In addition Ayaz is well versed in several languages and can ably perform in Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi, Pushto, Hindi, Poorbi, Bangla, Marathi, Persian Arabic and Turkish, as well as Japanese.

Recently the duo was featured in the fourth season of Coke Studio, where they performed “Kangna” a Qawwali based on classical music and rendered on Coke Studio in the Raag Malkauns.

An Evening of Qawwaali Featuring Fareed Ayaz & Abu Mohammad