Described by the Huffington Post as "an evolutionary force in contemporary Middle Eastern music, Niyaz (which means “yearning”), defies most standards of world music and makes a bold statement to a global audience.
Founded in 2004 by Iranian born, Indian raised vocalist/ composer Azam Ali, and Iranian multi-instrumentalist/ composer Loga R. Torkian, Niyaz has created a 21st century global trance tradition by seamlessly blending medieval Sufi poetry and ancient folk songs from their native Iran and its surrounding countries in the Persian Gulf, with rich acoustic instrumentation and state-of-the-art modern electronics.
Today with four best selling and critically acclaimed albums released on Six Degrees Records, all of which have debuted at #1 on iTunes and garnered the band an incredible amount of media attention including features on NPR, The BBC World, Huffington Post, MTV Iggy and PRI, Niyaz continues to tour internationally and build on its impressive and loyal fan base worldwide. Since 2005 Niyaz has performed in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, India, Russia, Poland, Dubai, Mexico, Finland, Slovenia, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Indonesia, Tunisia, Morocco and Austria. Their music has also been featured in several major film and television scores, which include, True Blood, Bones, Nip Tuck and Crossing Over.
At the center of Niyaz’s music is the unmistakable voice of Iranian born, Indian raised, Azam Ali, a two time nominee of the prestigious Canadian JUNO Award whose otherworldly singing has been featured in many major Hollywood film and television soundtracks such as “The Matrix-Revolutions”, “Prince of Persia”, “Thor- The Dark World,” “True Blood,” "Alias,” and "Prison Break.” Azam has also released three critically acclaimed solo albums since 2002 and has collaborated with a wide range of artists such as Serj Tankian of System of a Down, the world renowned Japanese group Kodo, Zakir Hussain, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Mercan Dede, Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, The Crystal Method, Pat Mastellato and Trey Gunn of King Crimson, Dredg, Chris Vrenna formerly of Nine Inch Nails, Ben Watkins of Juno Reactor, Buckethead, Steve Stevens and Mickey Hart.
On stage, Niyaz is comprised of four additional world-class musicians along with a female whirling dervish who along with Azam create a rich hybrid of acoustic instrumentation and state-of-the-art electronics and visuals. The featured performers are Niyaz co-founder and multi-instrumentalist/ composer, Iranian born Loga R.Torkian, Canadian electronic musician Gabriel Ethier on Keyboards and Programming, Turkish instrumentalist Sinan Cem Eroglu on Kaval and Kopuz, and Tabla player Ravi Naimpally.
The music and message of Niyaz is aimed at uniting people from different cultural and spiritual backgrounds through our shared humanity. It is a tribute to beauty, diversity, freedom and dignity for all. Through their sublime mix of the ancient and the modern, a bridge is formed between the East and the West during a time of polarized ideologies. Niyaz revitalize history in an effort to restore a severed bond between the past and the present, that perchance through this restoration, there can be a renaissance and revolution of ideas. "It's a daring task to try and bridge the chasm between peoples," says Azam, but if we can make that happen even for the one hour that people are there just to listen to our music, then who's to say we did not triumph in our goal?"
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