French pay tribute to legendary Qawal Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

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The qawwali evening mesmerized the audience of the twin cities comprising fans of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

ISLAMABAD – Special tribute was paid to music legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan by French embassy here in Islamabad. The tribute began with the presentation of biography “Nusrat – The voice of Faith” by its author, the French musicologist Pierre Alain Baud, followed by a short documentary; short film and a Qawwali performance.

The Qawali evening mesmerized the audiences comprising fans of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in a relaxing ambiance of soul soothing melodies. Mehr and Sher Ali Qawwal ensemble brought the public back to Nusrat’s universe as they recalled the Qawali style of legendary Qawal and music Maestro Nusrat. Mehr and Sher Ali are followers of the Talvandi classical school of Indian music. They were trained by their father who was a classical singer in Patiala and later a disciple of Fateh Ali Khan, the father of legendary Qawwal Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

The musical night brought together Sufi lovers from all over the city and was joined by many officials of the Embassy. The evening started with a foreword by Monsieur Pierre Alain Baud who has done extensive research on Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and has written a book on him as well.

The memorable evening was a gift to people of Pakistan by the Embassy of France. The French embassy in collaboration with the Alliance Française Islamabad and Lahore, dedicated the evening in homage to the music legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on Sunday (21st of February 2016) at the Alliance Française Islamabad.

Nusrat, the “Shahenshah-e-Qawwali”, still lives among us thanks to his most extraordinary and unique music and performances, including the mythical concert in 1985 at the Theatre de la Ville in Paris (France) that launched his international career.

It was at the Theatre de la Ville in 1985 that Pierre-Alain Baud, a French music researcher, journalist and associate researcher with the department of World Religions and Culture, Dhaka University, first heard Nusrat.

During the tribute ceremony, Pierre presented his book “Nusrat: The Voice of Faith,” which is a biography of Nusrat Fateh Ali and a deep account of his life as observed by Pierre-Alain Baud. The Voice of Faith is an account of the life and times of one of Pakistan’s most celebrated and loved musicians.

Published in paperback in 2015 by Harper Collins India, the book has been described by Newsline magazine as “… a valuable service … which will serve as an important text and an engaging read, not only for Nusrat Fateh Ali fans, but for future generations”.

The book was originally published in French in 2008, under the title “Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: Le messager du qawwali.” and edited by Demi-lune (Paris, Demi-lune, coll. Voix du monde).The version in English is translated by Renuka George, also film-maker based in New Delhi. Renuka also spoke at the event.

The book presentation was followed by a short film on Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Qawwali evening in Islamabad to pay tribute to legendary Qawal Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Photo: Facebook page of Alliance Française d'Islamabad
Qawwali evening in Islamabad to pay tribute to legendary Qawal Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Photo: Facebook page of Alliance Française d’Islamabad

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