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Music Editorial

rizwan19.jpg More jewels from GemArts

GemArts continue to bring us the very best in South Asian music and they’ve got two real stand-out shows coming up this March.

Son of sitar maestro Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan, and representing the eighth generational link to an unbroken chain of musical tradition, Shakir Khan stands out for his exquisite sense of sur (melody) and laya (rhythm) and is a shining star of his generation. His show at Newcastle University will take in a grand evening of playing, with Khan showcasing the art of the sitar, with tabla accompaniment from Bhupinder Singh Chaggar.

And then at Sage Gateshead we have Rizwan Muazzam Qawwali (pictured). Nephews of the great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and tutored by the master singer himself, Rizwan and Muazzam perform hypnotising sacred Qawwali music with their ensemble of traditional instruments. Seated on the floor, the musicians build intoxicating swirls of ambient sounds, cut across with rhythmic handclaps and springing tablas. The effect is hypnotic to all who witness it, whether a scholar of Sufi music or completely new to the form.

Shakir Khan: Serenaded by Sitar, Friday 8 March, Newcastle University, 7.30pm, £10 (£5 conc). Rizwan Muazzam Qawwali, Tuesday 19 March, Sage Gateshead, 8pm, £18.50/£14.20. gemarts.org; sagegateshead.com