More information on Spiritual Sounds of Central Asia Nomads, Mystics and Troubadours

“A revelation of musical riches hidden from the West for centuries.” – The Independent

Spiritual Sounds of Central Asia Nomads, Mystics and Troubadours

▪ Alim and Fargana Qasimov ▪ Badakhshan Ensemble ▪ Bardic Divas
Friday, October 12, 2007, 8:00 pm / Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto
Tickets: $69.50 – $29.50 – Call 416-872-4255 or visit the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office

Major North American tour features 17 masters of Central Asian music
showcasing the richness and diversity of Central Asian cultures

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Toronto, ON, September 13, 2007 – Seventeen virtuoso performers from a culturally dynamic and rapidly changing region of Central Asia will share their contemporary and ancient musical traditions in a 12-city North American tour beginning in Toronto on Friday, October 12, 2007 at Roy Thomson Hall. The tour, entitled “Spiritual Sounds of Central Asia: Nomads, Mystics, and Troubadours,” offers a rare opportunity to experience some of the world’s most exotic music from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Qaraqalpakstan. The area was closed to the West for most of the twentieth century and is now experiencing a resurgence and revitalization of its musical traditions since the break-up of the Soviet Union. The multi-media presentation features a panorama of Central Asia’s vocal and instrumental music and includes documentary films about the musicians, super-titles with translations of song lyrics, and live, large-screen video close-ups.

Three ensembles are showcased:

▪ Alim and Fargana Qasimov: The legendary Azerbaijani mugham vocalist Alim Qasimov (of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project fame and hailed by the French newspaper Le Monde as having “one of the most beautiful voices of our era”) performs riveting duets with his daughter Fargana, accompanied by a four-man ensemble on tar (lute), kemancha (spike fiddle), balaban (double reed oboe) and naghara (percussion).

▪ Badakhshan Ensemble: This seven-member group, from the majestic Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan and Afghanistan (an area known in Persian as bam-i dunya – “the roof of the world”), perform trance-inducing mystical songs and traditional festive songs with instrumental accompaniment, featuring vocalist-dancer Soheba.

▪ Bardic Divas: Illustrating the power and beauty of the female voice, these four divas from Kazakhstan and Qaraqalpaksta present a variety of musical styles, some long forbidden for women to perform.

This tour is a result of a partnership between the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia (AKMICA) and the New York-based World Music Institute (WMI). The Touring Program aims to introduce the unique musical riches of Central Asian culture to global audiences and to promote respect for the musicians and the traditions they represent. The tour includes New York’s Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Hall, and venues in Boston, Rochester, Cleveland, Chicago, Houston, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.

This performance is part of Share the Music, the Corporation’s education and outreach program. More than 200 complimentary tickets will be provided to under-served young people to attend the performance and a pre-concert lecture-demonstration by renowned American music scholar and tour curator Theodore Levin.

The Share the Music program aims to enrich and inspire young people through exposure to world-class performers and related educational activities. It is sponsored by Sun Life Financial and supported by many individuals and organizations. For more information, please visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Liz Parker, Publicity Manager / Ph: 416 593 4822, Ext. 318 / email:

THE CORPORATION OF MASSEY HALL AND ROY THOMSON HALL, 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5J 2H5

Author: ismailimail

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