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Nightlife Highlights: Riyaaz Qawwali 

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March 17. Qawwali is the intensely hypnotic Sufi devotional music of South Asia that dates back to the 13th century and was made famous in the West by the late vocalist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Texas's Riyaaz Qawwali, who here appear at the Garrison Institute, are one of America's most celebrated qawwali parties (such an ensemble is traditionally known as a party). The standard setup of an eight- or nine-piece qawwali party is a lead singer, one or two side singers / handclappers, harmonium, and percussion (tabla or dhoka); Riyaaz Qawwali adds a fiddle. "In our group, there are people from Indian, Pakistani, Afghani, and Bangladeshi identity," lead singer Sonny, who, like his bandmates, goes only by his first name, told NPR. "But we're all American today. And religiously, we're Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs, agnostics, atheists." Preconcert talk by Pir Zia Inyat-Khan. 7pm. $25 concert only or $50 concert and dinner. Garrison. (845) 424-4800;

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  • Riyaaz Qawwali bring their hypnotic Sufi devotional music to the Garrison Institute on March 17.


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