Asif Ali Khan was only 13 in the mid-’80s when he began studying with the legendary Pakistani qawwali master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (d. 1997), eventually becoming his premier student. Tonight, Asif brings his eight-piece “party” to New York for the first time. Like Nusrat, Asif is a powerful vocal improviser, whose voice ascends to the heavens bolstered by the harmonium, backing singers, hand-claps, tabla, and double-headed dholak drum that characterize the Punjabi Ang style of an 800-year-old sound. Singing deep Sufi devotional poetry in Urdu, Persian, Punjabi, and other languages, Asif will likely incite Islamic devotees into trance states and increasingly impassioned demonstrations of faith, possibly including, as at Nusrat’s final Carnegie Hall appearance, forceful pounding of foreheads onto stage.

Sat., March 22, 8:30 p.m., 2014

Archive Highlights