Mandala South Asian Performing Arts presents ‘Qawwali And Gospel: Singing Together’


Our Bureau

Chicago, IL

Mandala South Asian Performing Arts based in Chicago, is collaborating with musician Sonny with Riyaaz Qawwali and gospel artist Markeyta Sconiers on the world premiere of Qawwali and Gospel: Singing Together, a performance and workshop series combining gospel music with Qawwali, a devotional musical tradition rooted in Sufi Islam. The performance, which also features guitarist Fareed Haque and Chethan Anant on the bansuri (Indian flute), will be held on March 24 at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Chicago.

Drawing on the complex history of cultural exchange between South Asian and Black communities, Sonny Riyaz has collaborated with South Asian community members in the Devon neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side and Black Gospel groups based on Chicago’s South Side to create new music that highlights parallels between the two genres while celebrating their distinct historic roots, bridging communities and cultures.

Mandala Arts is a MacArthur Award-winning organization founded by Executive Artistic Director Pranita Nayar. From classical to contemporary, Mandala offers evocative dance, theatre, and musical arts of South Asia. Pranita Nayar (Pranita Jain) is an Indian classical dancer, choreographer, company director, curator and producer. A graduate of the Centre for Indian Classical Dances in New Delhi, India, she trained with one of India’s foremost Bharata Natyam dancer, Padma Vibhushan Sonal Mansingh. After relocating to the United States in 1985, she earned a Masters in Dance Ethnography from the University of Illinois.

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