About Tahir Qawwal
Tahir has been teaching traditional vocal music all over the world for the past 20 years. He is a passionate and highly skilled vocalist and harmonium player, having spent plenty of study time with Pakistan’s present day Qawwali masters. Tahir’s guruji Pt. Pashupatinath Mishra of Varanasi has passed on to him a great musical knowledge. Tahir’s unique expression of the classical art of Indian music is shown by his ability to perform and teach styles such as Geet, Ghazal, Bhajan, Thumri, Classical & Folk songs.
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.
Originally from a small town in Nova-Scotia Canada, Tahir Hussain Faridi Qawwal has been journeying into music and mysticism within the Indian subcontinent from a very young age. At fifteen he was taken in by the great tabla maestro Harjeet Seyan Singh, and under his noble tutelage initiated into the profound subject of Indian rhythm cycles. Several years of rigorous tabla instruction later, Tahir became completely enchanted by his teachers singing voice. Tahir’s late teens were mostly spent wandering in the Gharwal Himalayas living as a lonely dervish, practicing the yogic path and searching for sur with a shruti box in hand. ’Sur’ is at the heart of all Indian/Pakistani classical music and when translated to English means ‘purity of sound and pitch’. Because of the wide tonal spectrum of classical Indian raaga notation, the profound journey into sur requires the grace of a guru. Tahir Qawwal’s first knowledge of sur came by the kindness of Pandit Sanjeev Jha of Varanasi.