Qawwali maestro Amjad Sabri remembered

A diverse menu of qawwalis were performed by Aziz Mian qawwal’s son Imran Aziz Mian


Qawwali being performed at PC Hotel in the city. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD IQBAL/EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: A session was organised at Pearl Continental Hotel on Friday in a bid to pay tribute to Qawwali maestro Amjad Sabri. The event was titled ‘Mystical Qawwali Night’. The event was the first of its kind in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

A diverse menu of qawwalis were performed by Aziz Mian qawwal’s son Imran Aziz Mian. Special tribute was paid to Sabri’s service to his craft.

The qawwali maestro , Sabri,was shot dead by assailants in Karachi on June 22.

“I am speechless [after his death],” Imran Aziz said. “Amjad Sabri was a man of high stature who served Sufi music and further added to the achievement of a family that has served this tradition for several generations.” He added, “It is a great honour for us to perform in Peshawar in memory of  late legend.” Imran Aziz said his team will perform free for Sabri.

On the occasion, some of Sabri’s most memorable qawwalis were performed by Imran Aziz. He evoked the soul-stirring renditions of Arifana Kalam (mystic poetry) – a genre which catapulted Sabri to fame. Imran Aziz began the session by reciting Bhar Do Jholi. His companions provided a chorus and clapped while the audience was mesmerised by the performance. This was one of the most famous qawwalis that was also performed by Sabri.

It was followed by another religious one Allah Hi Jane Kaun Bashar Hai, an all-time famous qawwali of Aziz Mian. The next was a tribute to late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Imran Aziz performed Tumain Dil lagi Bhool Jani Paregi that enthralled the audience. On the occasion, Pearl Continental Hotel General Manager Rashid Banday said, “This is a 700-year-old tradition in which a number of Pakistani qawwals have made their names and Amjad Sabri was one of them.”

He added, “Qawwali is a great medium of expression and it portrays the message of peace and love.”  According to Banday, qawwali is a key part of our religion and Sabri was a great ambassador of this form of music.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2016.

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