[MUSIC/WORLD MUSIC ~ SA]
Church Of The Trinity, Sun 24 Feb.
This mini World Music event was presented by HATs Inc and Globo. Among other things HATs is endeavouring to give exposure to musicians from other cultural backgrounds who have recently become Australian residents – a brilliant initiative – and evidenced here by these two great local acts from Syria and the subcontinent.
The friends and guests part of the program began with the Zuhir Naji Arabic Ensemble. Zuhir himself ran a music school in Syria before fleeing to Australia and looked very much at home playing the oud and singing old songs from his homeland together with a percussionist and his 12-year-old son. It warmed the heart just to see them performing. Unfortunately though the sounds of the oud were a little drowned out by the percussion in a poor mix.
A solo dance routine to music that sounded a little like a recorded Bollywood soundtrack (this is not a criticism – I love many Bollywood tunes!) rounded out the first part of the show.
The featured performer of the event was Farhan Shah, formerly of Karachi. Featuring the Qawwali music given global prominence by the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Shah and his band soon had the audience singing along, as the MC for the evening had promised, to words that they didn’t understand. The latter material was described as ’fusion’ and happily they didn’t stray too far from the original form of the music. Farhan Sha worked hard to get the audience up and dancing and most responded and joined in the ‘Sufi party’.
A heart-warming and uplifting show. Makes you wonder how many other fine musicians from other cultures are lurking unknown in the suburbs of Australian cities.
Image courtesy of Michael Coghlan