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Monday, April 3, 2017

In Context: Sanam Marvi

Pakistani superstar Sanam Marvi presents an evening of folk and Sufi devotional music at its most intensely sublime, singing poetic texts in Urdu, Sindhi, and Saraiki. Context is everything, so get closer to the production through our series of curated links, videos, and articles. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #SanamMarvi.

Program Notes

Sanam Marvi (Coming soon!)


Sanam Marvi (BAM blog)
“‘I am neither Sunni nor Shia,’ Marvi sings... ‘My heart is troubled by both sides.’”

Sanam Marvi (Center StageSM)
A comprehensive overview of "vocal warrior" Sanam Marvi from Center StageSM, a public diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Popularity of Pakistani Sufi Music (DESIblitz)
Singing as a means of spiritual connection to God.

(Re)Gendering Ritual/Religious Practices (H-Gender-MidEast)
Part of an academic dialogue on the centrality of female voices in Sufi Islam.

An Introduction to the Music of India
A resource guide with explanations of four regional instruments featured in Sanam Marvi’s concert: the dholak, tabla, harmonium, and sitar.

Watch & Listen

‘Tu Rah Naward-e-Shauq Hai Manzil Na Kar Qabool’: Virsa Heritage Revived (Dailymotion)
Marvi performs alongside her childhood music teacher and legend of Qawwali devotional music, Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, on a popular Pakistani music show. With English translations. (Be sure to catch the sick electric rubab solo at 1:23.)

‘Manzil-e-Sufi’: Coke Studio (YouTube)
In a live studio recording, Marvi sings a Sindhi poem about selfless love.

Now your turn...

What did you think? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #SanamMarvi.


  1. For the unacquainted it might have been a good performance. I was disappointed. Insistent on making every song fast she rushed through without first bothering with the customary "taans" and building it up. A "Bollywood type" rendition it was, lacking acutely the "classical music centric" essential aspects. Would have loved to see her rivet in the challenging ups and downs of classical articulation and indulge in "jugalbandi" with the tabla and sitar players. She has potential. Listen to Abida Parveen if you want the real deal. And why Ms. Marvi kept doing the two-handed hellos. For God sake be confident in where you come from - Pakistan. Doing salam the customary way would have only reflected positively.

    FA, NJ

  2. I enjoyed this magical evening


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