Unique concert, promises promoter Manish Sood.
By Raif Karerat
WASHINGTON, DC: Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, who is internationally renowned as performer of Qawwali — the devotional music of Muslim Sufis — is visiting Washington D.C. on June 6 while on the tail end of a winding U.S. tour that began in April.
The concert is slated for DAR Constitution Hall and according to promoter Manish Sood, will be “a very different show” this time around, including a mixture of qawwali, other Sufi songs, Bollywood numbers, and original pieces.
“Unlike … previous shows where we just had the basic sound and light tech riders, this time it will be quite extensive … the best singer, best sound and light, best venue, and the best Audience [will equate to] an intense show,” Sood related via email.
Khan was chosen by his uncle Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for tutoring in the traditions of qawwali music and was singing with his uncle and father by the age of three. At the age of seven he began formal training with his uncle and he performed for the first time in public at the age of nine during the death anniversary of his grandfather. From age 15, he was made an integral part of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Qawwali group which was famous around the globe.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan debuted in America in the summer of 2000 with two high-profile performances in New York and Los Angeles — at Central Park Summer stage and the Hollywood Bowl, respectively — to widespread critical acclaim.
Soon after, in 2001, he performed in dual concerts with the Beastie Boys, The Strokes, Rival Schools, the B-52’s, Cibo Matto, Moby, Michael Stipe and Bono, among sets by N*E*R*D, Mos Def, The Roots, and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, according to his official website.
Qawwali music (the word derives from the Arabic word “qual”, which means “belief” or “credo”) is the explosive devotional music of the Sufis of Pakistan and the Indian subcontinent. It originated in the 10th century as a blend of Persian and Central Asian poetic, philosophical, and religious elements with north Indian musical expression.
The show in Washington is being promoted by Intense Entertainment, founded by Sood, and marketed by sister concerns, IntenseDMV , a marketing company promoting small businesses in the South Asian community, and IntenseDMV Radio, a 24 x 7 live Bollywood station.