WHO WE ARE
Fanna-Fi-Allah hold the flame of traditional Sufi Qawwali music, with the blessings of their teachers; some of the greatest masters of the qawwali form in India and Pakistan. Through the beauty of the music they embody a universal message of devotion and tolerance that is crucial to our time.
The group's founding members have spent over 20 years learning this classical art, which celebrates the great Sufi mystics of old and relishes in the love of the Divine through poetry.
THE ECSTATIC EXPERIENCE
Qawwali is a passionate devotional practice in which the fire of divine love (ishq) is ecstatically expressed through the mystical verses of Sufi poets, sung in Urdu, Farsi, Hindi and Punjabi.
The origins of qawwali music date back about a thousand years to the first sufi mystics who came to India. Qawwali has evolved into an immense art form spanning over hundreds of years of poets, languages & musical evolutions.
During their 19 years of world-wide touring, they have offered audiences a unique glimpse into this rich and vibrant culture; playing at many international festivals and concerts in major cities.
They have enthralled audiences in the USA, Canada, Pakistan, Europe, Indonesia, India, Egypt, China, Russia (etc) with their dynamic skill and passionate musical precision.
Fanna-Fi-Allah hold the flame of traditional Sufi Qawwali music, with the blessings of their teachers; some of the greatest masters of the qawwali form in India and Pakistan. The group's founding members have spent over 20 years learning this classical art, which celebrates the great Sufi mystics of old and relishes in the love of the Divine through poetry. Sung with a powerful soaring chorus and accompanied by the energetic rhythms of tabla and group clapping, the Beloved is celebrated with ecstatic devotion.
Fanna-Fi-Allah have been blessed to play qawwali in its traditional setting at the honoured tombs of sufi saints in Pakistan and India, where qawwali originates. These include the sacred shrines of: Data Ganj Baksh (Lahore), Baba Ganj-e-Shakar (Pak Pattan), Baba Bulleh Shah (Kasoor), Baba Lasuri Shah (Faislabad) and in India at the tombs of Khwaja Nizzam-Ud-Deen Aulia, Amir Khusrau, Pir Inayat Khan (Delhi), & Khwaja Mueen-Ud-Deen Chishty (Ajmer).
During their 19 years of world-wide touring, they have offered audiences a unique glimpse into this rich and vibrant culture; playing at many international festivals and concerts in major cities. They have enthralled audiences in the USA, Canada, Pakistan, Europe, Indonesia, India, Egypt (etc) with their dynamic skill and passionate musical precision. With ten albums already published, Fanna-Fi-Allah now offer us an even deeper glimpse into this Sufi world of Pakistan with the production of their new documentary: Music of the Mystics.
Lead Vocal, Harmonium
Tahir Hussain Faridi Qawwal
the group leader & manager, studies under vocal masters Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Pandit Pashupatinath Mishra, Ustad Sher Ali Khan, and Ustad Muazzam Ali Khan. He has honed his amazing harmonium skills with Rahat Ali, the first student of Ustad Faruk Fateh Ali Khan. When not on tour, Tahir teaches vocal music & harmonium within the traditional raaga system. He also sings Thumri, Khayal, Kafi & Heer. Check out www.tahirqawwal.com for other projects.
Aminah Chishti Qawwal has been a leading force in the art of traditional qawwali tabla. A student of the great Ustad Dildar Hussain Khan, Aminah was formally initiated by her teacher in 2003. She has changed the boundaries of women in Pakistan by performing at the shrines of Pakistan's greatest sufi saints where women haven't traditionally been allowed to play. Check out her Blog @ http://amnachi.weebly.com/
Vocal & Clapping
Laali Qalandar has been a key member of Fanna-fi-Allah since 2001. He is a passionate & talented vocalist who has travelled several times with the group to Pakistan and India, as well as studying alongside Tahir with the current qawwali masters.
Salim Chishty is well known for his purity of pitch & gamak taans. As well as studying with the qawwali greats, he has also honed his classical vocal skills through years of study with the famous dhrupad singers – The Gundecha Brothers.
Vocal & Clapping
Vocal & Clapping
Ali Shan has a qawwali clap & chorus that can travel from one village to another. He has a deep devotion to the group. He also studies the rabab with Ustad Humayoun Sakhi of Afghanistan.
Jahangir Baba has been in the ensemble for more than 15 years. As well as singing qawwali, he is also deeply involved in the genres of Bhajan & Ghazal.
Vocal & Harmonium
Vocal & Clapping
Abrar Hussain hails from Lahore, Pakistan and is the oldest son of the living legend Ustad Dildar Hussain. His adds powerful giras to the music, enriching the poetic content of each kalam. He leads his own qawwali ensemble in Pakistan during the Fanna off season called - Ustad Dildar Hussain & Abrar Hussain.
Aziz Abbatiello is a whirling dervish living in between San Francisco and Turkey, active in the Mevlani Sufi Order. He trains under Postneshin Jelaluddin Loras, Pir of the Mevlevi Order of America. He also studies with Sheikh Sherif Baba, head of the Rifai Marufi Order. He moved into deep trance in with Fanna-fi-Allah’s music, expressing the connection to the divine through dance.
FOR BOOKING AND PRESS INQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT MANAGER
MAJID MASTANA AT
+1 (503) 810-8823
A MESSAGE OF LOVE
Fanna-Fi-Allah seek to represent the music in its traditional, authentic form and are committed to helping spread qawwali's message of love and peace throughout the world.
They are honoured to build bridges for qawwali music in the West, and always relish the opportunity to introduce Qawwali to new audiences.
MUSIC OF THE MYSTICS
THE QAWWALI DOCUMENTARY
PAKISTAN PEACE TOURS
For more than a decade, the members of Fanna-Fi-Allah have been travelling to Pakistan to study with the greats, to perform and to soak up the rich culture. They have become cultural ambassadors in the West, sharing their love of qawwali and helping people to understand Islam and Sufism. In 2013 the group received a grant from the US Consulate of Islamabad to travel through Pakistan. They played at orphanages, schools, universities, concert halls, consulate offices and at important Sufi shrines. In 2014 they received a 2nd grant to tour again, and they brought a videographer to film their journey and interview master qawwals for their documentary, Music of the Mystics
CHALLENGING SOCIAL BARRIERS
Aminah Chishti is well known for becoming the first female tabla player in the history of classical music to perform at Sufi shrines around Pakistan and even India. Aminah was fortunate to be taken in and taught by the greatest qawwali tabla player in Pakistan, Ustad Dildar Hussain, who toured internationally with Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for 30 years. He defied convention to teach an American female student and has encouraged her in her practice for the last 15 years. Aminah has had the blessing of performing at the shrines of Baba Farid in Pak Pattan, Data Ganj Baksh in Lahore, Baba Bulleh Shah in Kasur, Kalyar Sharif, Meheroli Sharif and Baba Lasuri Shah in Faisalabad.
QAWWALI IN INDIA
Tahir and Aminah began their journey into qawwali music in Ajmer, India back in 2000. Most of the group undertake regular trips there to study classical music and to perform qawwali. They have visited and played at the sufi shrines of Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki (Mehrauli, Delhi), Moinuddin Chishti (Ajmer), Ali Ahmad Sabir (Kaliar), Haji Ali (Mumbai) and their favourite Nizamuddin (Delhi).
In 2016 they headlined the World Sacred Spirit Festival in Jodphur, collaborating with Ajmeri qawwals - Ustads Zakir and Zaki Ali.
UK & EUROPE
It has not been hard to see that people LOVE qawwali in the UK!!
Fanna-Fi-Allah have performed in Birmingham, Manchester, Burnley, Glascow, Bradford, Luton, London and even Stoke-on-Trent.
Qalandar Arts have been an amazing support for FFA and are hosting their 2017 tour which will include Europe too.
QAWWAL FAMILY TOUR WITH FFA IN USA
Fanna-Fi-Allah have been honoured to host Ustad Dildar Hussain in the USA on several tours. Aminah's teacher and the greatest qawwali tabla player in the world, Dildar is an important wisdom keeper in the lineage. His sons Abrar Hussain and Israr Hussain also regularly play with the Fanna-fi-Allah and are dear friends of the group. It has been important for U.S audiences to understand more about the tradition through this family.
QAWWALI IN THE 'WEST'
Fanna-Fi-Allah have now toured throughout America and Canada more than any other qawwali group. In this way they have become a 'bridge' to qawwali music in the west. They seek to represent the music in its traditional, authentic form and are committed to helping spread qawwali's message of love and peace throughout the world.
As 'goras' ('whites') they have sometimes come up against some skeptism, but through their studies in the East and their performances worldwide they have proved themselves as accomplished musicians and carrier of qawwali.
Upcoming tOUR Dates
NOTABLE PERFORMANCES 2001-2019
Fanna-fi-Allah has played over 1000 concerts to date.
USA & Canada
Portland – Phoenix Rose Theatre
Toronto – Aga Khan Museum
San Francisco – Great American Music Hall
San Diego – World Beat Centre
Montreal – Theatre Rouge
Toronto – Harbour Front Centre
Berkeley – La Pena Cultural Centre
San Francisco – San Francisco Civic Centre
Los Angeles – Skirball Cultural Centre
Nevada City – Nevada Theatre
Grass Valley – Centre for the Arts
South Carolina – University of South Carolina
Toronto – Civic Centre
Grass Valley – California World Fest
Seattle – Broadway Performance Hall
Washington D.C. – George Washington University
San Jose – Science & Non-duality Conference
Joshua Tree – Bhakti & Shakti Festivals
New York – Omega Chant Festival
Oregon – Beloved Festival
Chicago – Museum of Contemporary Art
California – Symbiosis Festival
California – Earth Dance Festival
Berkeley – Berkeley World Festival
Sacramento – The Palace Ballroom
Arizona – Tempe Centre for the Arts
Washington D.C. – Lincoln Memorial
Dallas – Jack E Singley Academy Theatre
St Louis – Hilton Hotel
Boston – Chinmaya Mission Temple Hall
Las Vegas – Winchester Cultural Centre
Dubai – Nashwan Hall
Delhi – Islamic Cultural Centre
Jodhpur – Sufi Spirit Festival
Mumbai – Dragah Haji Ali
Bhopal – Taali Ho Sufi Festival
Mumbai – India’s got Talent
Mumbai – Imax Theatre
Cairo – Great Pyramids of Giza
Indonesia – Bali Spirit Festival
Morrocco – Bibliothéque National de Rabat
Sydney – Bankstown Theatre
Sydney – Paramassala Festival
Brisbane – Woodford Folk Festival
Wellington – New Zealand School of Music
London – Harrow Arts Centre
Glasgow – Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Burnley – Burnley Mechanics Theatre
Bradford – Playhouse Theatre
Birmingham – Midlands Art Centre
London – Brunei Gallery
Birmingham – Mac Birmingham
Leicester – The Spinney
UK - BBC Manchester, BBC Asia Network
USA - KEXP Seattle, KPFA Berkley
Pakistan - T.V.-PTV Lahore; VAQT TV Islamabad, Urdu Voice Washington
India - India's Got Talent Mumbai
India - India Times
Pakistan - Daw, The Express Tribune
USA - Sufi Journal
Australia - ABC News
Fanna-Fi-Allah has performed over 250 sufi shrines throughout India & Pakistan, which is the traditional venue for qawwali.
Some of the most known shrines played to date are: Ajmer Sharif, Kaliyar Sharif, Kasur Sharif, Data Darbar, Pakpattan Sharif, Kaliam Sharif, Sehwan Sharif, Mehroli Sharif, Nizammudin, Bhit Shah, Uch Sharif & Imam Badi