Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Niyaz Live:

Listen/Download: Niyaz' live performance on KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic" podcast

Buy Niyaz music from Six Degrees Shop

Today we have a special guest blog post from Niyaz vocalist extraordinaire, Azam Ali. Niyaz just finished a series of incredible live shows on the west coast, as well as a great appearance on KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic” program, so we thought it was a perfect chance to catch up with the band and share some of the beautiful photos from their LA show:

Here are some photos from our recent concert at the El Rey theatre in Los Angeles. They were taken by a dear friend of mine whom I grew up with, Bobby Aazami, who has gone on become a great talent.

The evening was truly memorable for us for a number of reasons. Mainly this was put together by two private promoters who are fans of Niyaz, and the turnout surpassed any of our expectations. I personally could not be more grateful to our fans for coming out in such huge numbers to support us especially during such tough financial times.

The second most memorable thing about the evening was that as I stood on the stage and looked out at the audience, I saw people of every cultural background, which was extremely heartwarming for me because as a fan of music myself, I don’t remember going to many concerts and witnessing such a mixture of people. In creating something that we hoped would transcend our cultural and religious differences, we had managed to bring so many people from different walks of life into one room to experience something very unifying. That made me extremely proud.

It is with great pride that we introduce our fans to the new musicians in Niyaz all of whom are the best in their field. Featured in the concerts are:

Salar Nader on Tabla. Salar is of Afghan descent and is is one Ustad Zakir Hussain’s most promising protégés. He is one of the most talked about Tabla players to arrive on the world music scene in recent times. His exceptional technique and musicianship are only to be matched by his infectious sense of groove which makes me constantly smile on stage.
Naser Musa on Oud. What can I say about Naser that his playing could not say more poetically? Originally from Palestine, Naser is considered one of the Oud masters of the Middle East. He is truly a virtuoso on the Oud and also has a magnificent voice. Naser has been a great friend of mine for many years and to share the stage with him is nothing less than an honor for me.
Miles Jay on Upright Bass. Miles can be described as the most sought after double bassist in the world music scene today. Although he has a strong background in Jazz, he has spent extensive time in the Middle East studying the music and performing with some of the top musicians from that region.
Laura Escude on Violin, Programming and Sound Design. We met Laura literally two weeks before the LA show and she blew us away when she prepared and learned everything in that small amount of time. She is a great talent and a wonderful person. I must add that I love having another girl in the group.
Vaneeth Nand on Second Tabla. Of Indian descent and also a student of the great Zakir Hussain, Vanneth initially came in to be an understudy for Salar for the shows Salar was to miss, but once we heard these two friends together, we had to have them on the same stage. A great guy with a promising future.

Our diverse backgrounds in Niyaz are a testament to the power of music being able to transcend boundaries. When on stage, we all speak the same language and convey the same message- that our experience and inner journey as human beings is universal.

Azam Ali


KurtW said...

Ms. Ali, we NEED you in Colorado! Please visit and bring your music.

ZenDude said...

When need Niyaz in Arizona as well!

Mary said...

And you have fans in North Carolina too.... :)

Congratulations to you and the entire group on all your success, it is well deserved!!