Described by the Huffington Post as, “an evolutionary force in contemporary Middle Eastern music”, NIYAZ has created a 21st century global trance tradition, seamlessly blending poetry and folk songs from their native Iran and surrounding countries, with rich, acoustic instrumentation and state-of-the-art, modern electronics. A sublime, ever-evolving message is delivered through music that is uplifting and metamorphic. Niyaz is led by front woman, AZAM ALI , whose Iranian heritage and Indian upbringing have formed a bewitching singer of richly textured proportions. Still, with all the mysticism and allure of their native lands, Niyaz is not limited by tradition. Their far-reaching repertoire defies most standards of “world
Niyaz featuring Azam Ali
Described by the Huffington Post as, “an evolutionary force in contemporary Middle Eastern music”, NIYAZ has created a 21st century global trance tradition, seamlessly blending poetry and folk songs from their native Iran and surrounding countries, with rich, acoustic instrumentation and state-of-the-art, modern electronics. A sublime, ever-evolving message is delivered through music that is uplifting and metamorphic. Niyaz is led by front woman, AZAM ALI , whose Iranian heritage and Indian upbringing have formed a bewitching singer of richly textured proportions. Still, with all the mysticism and allure of their native lands, Niyaz is not limited by tradition. Their far-reaching repertoire defies most standards of “world music”, making a bold statement, tearing down cultural boundaries, and offering listeners a bridge between the East and the West- a sanctuary in our modern world of polarized ideologies. It restores a severed bond between the past and the present.
For more than a decade Niyaz has stood at the forefront of the global music tradition by seamlessly blending ancient Sufi poetry and folk songs from the Middle East to India, with rich acoustic instrumentation and state-of-the-art modern electronics. Today with four best selling and critically acclaimed albums released on Six Degrees Records, all of which have debuted at #1 on iTunes and garnered the band an incredible amount of media attention including features on NPR, PRI, BBC World, Billboard magazine, Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post, Niyaz continues to tour internationally and build on its impressive and loyal fan base worldwide. Their music as well as solo performances have been featured in several major Hollywood film and television scores, which include, “The Matrix,” “Prince of Persia,” “Thor- The Dark World,” Body of Lies,” “True Blood,” ”Nip Tuck,” Bones,” “Alias,” “Prison Break,” “Tyrant,” and “Crossing Over.” Niyaz reaches an impressive and loyal fan base worldwide.
THE FOURTH LIGHT PROJECT, an immersive multi-sensory concert, is the newest program of this Persian/Turkish/Indian electroacoustic musical tour de force. The show is based on Niyaz’ latest album, The Fourth Light which was inspired by the first female Sufi mystic and poet Rabia Al Basri, born in the 8th century in Iraq. She is recognized as a saint as she was the one who set forth the doctrine of Divine Love and non-duality, which today lie at the heart of Sufi mysticism. From its inception, Niyaz has been committed to creating music with a deep social message. Through their work Niyaz aims to offer listeners a bridge between the East and the West – a sanctuary in the modern world of polarized ideologies. This groundbreaking immersive multi-media experience is a natural evolution for a group who is always aiming to redefine the boundaries of tradition in order to unite people from different cultural and spiritual backgrounds through our shared humanity.
"Tam e Eshq (The Taste of Love)" New Album Teaser Music Video, 2015
"Sabza Ba Naz (The Triumph of Love)" Live on Holland National Television, 2015
Live at Bali Spirit Festival, 2014
"Sabza Ba Naz (The Triumph of Love)" Official Music Video, 2015
"The Hunt 2013" Official Music Video, 2013
"NAMI NAMI (Arabic Lullaby)" Live at Gesù Center for Creativity in Montreal, 2011
Electric/acoustic quintet featuring Azam Ali (vocals), Ramin Loga Torkian (multi-oud, kamaan), Didem Basar (kanun), Gabriel Ethier (keyboards, programming), and Vaneet Vyas (tabla). Classically trained whirling dervish dancer may be added.
> An Evening w/
> Festival Headliner
> “The Fourth Light Project” (Immersive multi-media show features cutting-edge scenographic lighting & projection package with standard quintet AND classically-trained whirling dervish Tanya Evanson.
> Outreach activities available, read more.
Seminars and Workshops
- Feminism in the East: In this workshop Azam Ali and Niyaz will discuss gender inequality, the growing feminist movement in the East and how that relates to the global feminist movement. Since the role of women in society is mostly depicted through the lens of Western norms, women in the East are perceived as weak and oppressed victims. Therefore, this workshop is aimed at exploring the gulf between the Western and Eastern definition of female liberation when examined within the proper context of history, geography and cultural traditions. It will shine a light on some of the iconic women of the East in both history and today’s world, who have made huge strides in helping reshape the role of women in a modern Eastern society by challenging the patriarchal interpretation of religion that fosters gender inequality.
- Cultural Appropriation and Assimilation in the New Global Context: Having an understanding of Cultural Appropriation, Assimilation and Appreciation will help us to contextualize the way we interact with other cultures. Tourism, business practices, food, fashion, festivals, concerts, consumption on social media, have far reaching consequences on global communities due to America’s cultural and economic dominance in the world.
- Sufism & Music: This workshop will cover the basics of Sufi philosophy and mysticism. Since poetry and music are a big part of Sufi practice, the workshop will cover the poetry of some of the greatest Sufi poets such as Rumi and Attar. The musical and ecstatic aspect of Sufism is called “Sema” and this will be the main emphasis of the workshop. The workshop will also include a Whirling Dervish (Sufi dancer) who will discuss the practice and aim of whirling.
- Art & Technology: This workshop explores the impact of technology on art during a time when the digital world is having an ever growing impact on our day to day lives. The workshop will focus primarily on how artists have always been and continue to explore the possibilities of utilizing technology to enhance their art in order to influence the perception of art by audiences. From building better theaters, to the age of amplification, to better lighting techniques, to the now digital age, technology has always played an
important role in the expression and experience of the arts.
- Persian & Turkish Music Theory: This workshop will focus on Persian and Turkish music theory and rhythms. A musical composition can be taught as well for those who play any musical instrument and would like to learn how to apply these motifs on their own instruments. All levels would be welcome from the beginners to the advanced. For advanced musicians a more complex workshop can be set up which will also include a more advanced composition.
- Sample Residency Outline (by Hancher Performances at University of Iowa, 2017)
- “Niyaz’s Fourth Light Project and Music in Sufism” (by C.A. Norling, University of Iowa Research Assistant)
Please contact your SRO Artist Representative if you are interested in any of these workshop options offered by Niyaz.
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PublicityREK Room Media
"Tam e Eshq" Named Among NPR Favorite Songs of 2015
"Inspired by the life and poetry of Rabia Al Basri, the first female Sufi mystic, the Montreal-based band [Niyaz] scores with a mesmerizing mix of rapturous vocals and electro-acoustic beats." (Tom Huizenga) Read Review
The Wall Street Journal
Niyaz Honors 8th-Century Mystic on 'Feminist' Album 'The Fourth Light' (Exclusive) Read Review
NPR Weekend Edition Sunday
“...an evolutionary force in contemporary Middle Eastern music.” Read Review