Words, Music & Poetry

Najma Akhtar
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Najma Akhtar, British born, vocalist, songwriter and actor is the very first artist to have created a place in World Music history by creating a new musical genre, introducing Jazz to the traditional genre of the Ghazal (Urdu ballad).

Having been at the forefront of the World Music scene for the last two decades, Najma has proved to be a successful and versatile artist and is renowned for not only using modern jazz influences with Indian vocals creating a beautiful fusion of eastern and western styles but push the sound barriers once again by introducing Blues, rock and other eclectic influences to even newer and undiscovered frontiers

This iconic pioneer’s presence on the World music scene had led to a new wave of inspired Asian artists of Indian decent following in her footsteps. Having released eight critically acclaimed solo albums and has collaborated with many world-class artists, as diverse as Jah Wobble, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Andy Summers (The Police), Basement Jaxx, Jethro Tull, Philip Glass, Gary Lucas (Captain Beefheart) and worked on several musical and creative theatre projects such as, ‘Bollywood Dreams’ with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tara Arts and the National Theatre, Najma is set to release her new album, ‘Five Rivers’.

This performance will be in the more traditional ‘Baitak’ style and Najma will be performing a mixed repetoire of Sufiyana Kalam, her own Ghazal compositions, semi – classical and Thumri.

Keeping the thread connected, Najma's new project, ‘Five Rivers’ is a musical journey, that begins in India at the River Ganges and continues on to Africa and the River Niger, Great Britain, with the River Thames and the River Shannon and across the Atlantic to the majesty of the great Mississippi River exploring the various synergies that exist between the ancient poetic art form of the Indian Ghazal and the Western traditions of song.‘Five Rivers’, is to be released Feb/March 2020

"Najma Akhtar's Qareeb is the work of a musician who senses that, these days, she can remember the ancient, honor the everyday and sing to several continents at the same time." ~ The New York Times

Accompanied By

Sirish Kumar: Tabla

KK Chauhan: Harmonium/ Keyboard

In Association with SAMA Arts Network