Sufi music of the women of northern Pakistan – Sufi Festival

This concert has already taken place! 25
This concert has already taken place! 25
Naghma-E-Israfil © Naghma-E-Israfil

Magic of the drummers

Five women and one man supply the music’s hypnotic beat by striking frame drums. A sixth plays the rubab lute and sings solo, while a seventh leads the group of drummers in choral song. Naghma-e-Israfil Mystic Music Ensemble is the name of this Sufi septet led by women from the Hunza valley in Gilgit-Baltistan on the northern edge of Pakistan. It is rare to see feminine or mixed Sufi ensembles in public, as ritual practice is mostly segregated by gender. But the members of the Naghma-e-Israfil Ensemble, belonging to the Ismaili faith, give insight into the female perspective of sung Sufi poetry and play music together in harmony without gender segregation.

Karakorum is the name of the mountain range that the women of Naghma-e-Israfil come from. In the Sufic tradition of the region, men and women play music together peacefully, but they also form independent sub-ensembles, divided according to gender. Repetition plays an important role in the ritual music performed by Naghma-e-Israfil. Caught up in a trance, the drummer women lead their audience with them into the sphere of rapture.


Naghma-e-Israfil ensemble

Meher Angez solo vocals and direction
Ambareen Chardha-Hunzai rubab, vocals
Imsha Ali chardha, vocals
Aftab daf, vocals
Durr-E-Adan Daf
Alisha Aziz vocals
Misbah Anwar chorus vocals


Sufi-Musik der Frauen aus Gilgit-Baltistan (Kaschmir) im Karakorum-Gebirge

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Sufi Festival

Promoter: HamburgMusik

Supported by the Stiftung Elbphilharmonie

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