Riyaaz Qawwali released their debut CD
(HOUSTON, 28 May 2013) Featuring the poetry of mystics from the Indian sub-continent such as Hazrat Amir Khusro, Sant Kabir, Guru Ravidass and Baba Bulleh Shah, Riyaaz Qawwali is set to release their debut CD— “KASHTI,” at The Asia Society Texas Center. The musical ensemble represents a very unique genre of music, and one of the only qawwali groups in the whole country. The Debut will culminate into an event which will take place on Saturday, June 15. The CD promises to provide the listener with songs that speak of love, devotion, and longing.
Led by Sonny Mehta, Riyaaz Qawwali is proud to announce the launch of ‘Kashti’—the first album in the music industry that incorporates ideas and poetry from various faiths whilst extending the unique musical idiom of qawwali. The CD features two tracks that emerge from the holy scriptures of Sikhism, two tracks that surface from the ‘Sufi’ waters of South Asia, and two tracks that embody the Hindu faith.
The group is grateful to the music teachers, parents and fans for their unrelenting support of the group which has helped them uphold the ethos of qawwali. After a successful fundraising campaign last August, the group worked diligently to record this album. Each track in this album is infused with elements native to the qawwali genre and components that resonate with today’s listeners.
“...[Riyaaz Qawwali] mesmerized the audience with their singing … the virtuoso performance of the group leader, Sonny, impressed the audience tremendously. At the request of the audience members, the group sang a classical Qawwali bandish in Raag Bhairavi and enchanted the audience with their command of the raag. Their masterful rendition of this and other Qawwalis brought back memories of the late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan who introduced the tradition of Qawwali to the west”—Austin South Asian
“I took my 3-year-old son to a performance of music by Riyaaz Qawwali with plans to duck out [of] the back if he started getting fidgety. He was enthralled and then fell asleep. I can't think of a more spiritual being that you could actually hold in your arms than a small child who has just been lulled to sleep with total faith in your embrace and sacred music permeating his brain. Thank you Riyaaz Qawwali for an experience I will treasure forever”—Beth Ortuño
For more event details, visit http://asiasociety.org/texas. Riyaaz Qawwali was established in 2006 in Austin, Texas and is led by Sonny Mehta, a classically trained musician. Their music is symbolized by dynamic rhythmic cycles, uplifting melodies and improvisational poetry. For more details about Riyaaz Qawwali, visit www.riyaazqawwali.com. You can also follow them on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. Riyaaz Qawwali's CD Kashti is available for for $15.
Lead Vocalist & Composer
for Riyaaz Qawwali