Asif Ali Khan, Master of Qawwali


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Asif Ali Khan, Master of Qawwali and the Ensemble Santoo Khan Qawwal & Party – Pakistan

“The qawwâl singer does not sing for himself; he connects the listener with the invisible, the immaterial, and guides them towards a perception of the impalpable aspect of the world. People come to sit in the mehfil (gathering) to listen with their soul” (Claire Devos, Qawwâli, Editions du Makar)

Beyond the sophisticated and emotional vocal effects cherished in qawwali music and current Sufi Kalam, Asif Ali Khan also dedicates himself to the gift of word and speech to provoke the state of grace, amad. Asif Ali Khan belongs to the tradition of the Punjab style. From a young age, he has continued the work of his master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Born in 1973, Asif Ali Khan leads the ensemble Santoo Khan Qawwal & Party, created 90 years ago in India, in Amristan, by his great-grandfather Mian Maula Bakhsh. At the time of India’s independence in 1947, the group immigrated to Pakistan, settled in Lahore where it achieved resounding success under the direction of Santoo Khan, the son of Mian Maula Bakhsh. In turn, Santoo Khan passed on the art of qawwal to his own son Asif Ali Khan according to ancient traditions…