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Rez Abbasi's Invocation Motherland

Performing Arts

Images courtesy of the artist
Rez Abbasi's Invocation
Sat, Feb 19, 2011 8 PM
"Remarkable rhythmic and melodic facility…are all on display in Abbasi's guitar improvisations…. He blends elements of jazz, South Asian, and classical music with engaging ingenuity."—JazzTimes

Jazz guitarist and composer Rez Abbasi draws on the devotional qawwali music of his Pakistani heritage (best known in the U.S. from the work of the late great singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan) for this special program he calls Motherland. In his vibrant musical hybrid, Abbasi taps into the essence of qawwali's driving euphoric sound with the talented musicians of Invocation, his instrumental jazz ensemble. The group features players such as saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and drummer Dan Weiss—Abbasi's cohorts in the band Indo-Pak Coalition—as well as Johannes Weidenmueller on bass and pianist Matt Mitchell.

Rez Abbasi first played at the Wex as part of Rudresh Mahanthappa's Kinsmen ensemble in 2007, which combined American jazz artists of South Asian heritage with adventurous Indian classical musicians. Abbasi's sinuous guitar lines and stellar electric sitar turns contributed to an evening of transcendent music that delighted the evening's crowd, and we look forward to his return as a leader of this great band.

Motherland, by Rez Abbasi's Invocation, has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America's 2009 New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development program funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
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