Modern Qawwali that lifts the Heart and the Spirit

Ustad Dildar Hussain Khan and Abrar Hussain - Sur Sangeet
Ustad Dildar Hussain Khan and Abrar Hussain – Sur Sangeet

Ustad Dildar Hussain Khan and Abrar Hussain

Sur Sangeet (Kanaga System Krush Records, 2015)

Ustad Dildar Hussain Khan is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and a current master of Qawwali music, the ancient Sufi style that Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan popularized worldwide in the 20th century.

Sur Sangeet presents a modern acoustic version of Qawwali that blends tradition with Punjabi folk and jazz elements. The mesmerizing music is characterized by a call and response interaction between the lead vocalists and the chorus. The vocalists are accompanied by skilled harmonium and tabla as well as handclap percussion. In fact, the tabla, which is modified, has a leading role and is performed by Dildar. Tracks 3 and 6 are absorbing solo tabla performances.


Ustad Dildar Hussain Khan
Ustad Dildar Hussain Khan


Music should lift the heart and the spirit,” Dildar reveals. ‘That’s the essence of Qawwali. It’s glorification. But to do that it has to communicate, it has to reach out.”

Dildar Hussain Khan was born in Punjab and his father was a Qawwali musician. Dildar started playing tabla when he was only 5 years old. At 15, Dildar was performing with the celebrated Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Jointly, they toured the globed for 28 years.

Sur Sangeet includes Dildar Hussain Khan on vocals, tabla and harmonium; Abrar Hussain on vocals; Israr Hussain on tabla; Mahmud on harmonium; Hussnan on backing vocals and clapping; and the chorus featuring Imran Ali, Nadeem, Mahbub Ali, Waqqar Hussain, and Aleem Hasan. Three of these musicians are Dildar’s sons, who are extending the family’s musical legacy.

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Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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