Qawwali night: Mehfil-e-Sama captivates capital residents

Published: January 14, 2016
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Sher Miandad and Nadeem Jamil along with their ensembles perform at the Mehfil-e-Sama. PHOTO: HUMA CHOUDHARY/Express

Sher Miandad and Nadeem Jamil along with their ensembles perform at the Mehfil-e-Sama. PHOTO: HUMA CHOUDHARY/Express

ISLAMABAD: Sufi music seeks to unite listeners with the Divine by speaking to the soul about love, peace and harmony. Capital residents were treated to an evening of soul music titled “Mehfil-e-Sama” organised here on Tuesday.

The event, featuring qawwali, ghazal and dhamaal, was held at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA).

It brought together illustrious qawwals, Sher Miandad and Nadeem Jamil along with their ensembles, who left a packed-to-capacity auditorium spellbound with their mystic music.

Nadeem and party performed first, starting with a mellow rendition of “Allah Hoo”, followed by “Sansoon Ki Mala Pe” and finally an upbeat “Lal Meri Pat”. With Amjad Ali on harmonium and Qari Sahib on tabla, the ensemble also included some young qawwals from the same family.

“My family has been in this field since the past four generations and I’ve been performing since 1999. My grandfather and father used to perform at Data Darbaar,” Nadeem told The Express Tribune.

Next up were Sher Miandad and company. Mian Dad started his career when he was only 10. He belongs to an eminent qawwal gharana, which has a 600-year-old tradition of qawwali singing. Miandad and his ensemble have performed all over the world.

“I’ll be singing classical, sufi and some ghazal tonight,” he announced at the beginning.

Miandad started his set-piece with “Tum Aik Gorakh Dhanda Ho”, moving to an upbeat version of “Tajdar-e-Haram” and also performed Bulleh Shah’s “Raaz Diyan Gallan”. With Moin on table, and later the dhol, and Ali Mian Dad on harmonium, the group was delightfully in sync.

Talking to The Express Tribune later, he said that qawwali was the only genre of music, which had remained in its original form throughout centuries.

“Sufi music can act as a balm to heal the wounds, which our society is suffering from at the moment as a result of extremism and sectarianism” Miandad said.

He paid tribute to his cousin and legendary singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan by performing “Dil lagi” and “Halka Halka Suroor” with additional lyrics. They ended the evening with a power-packed dhamaal, which left the audience spell bound, and earned the group a standing ovation from the audience.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2016.

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