KING of Qawalli, Hans Raj Hans, will be performing on October 6 at Surrey’s Bell Performing Arts Center with Shenkar on vocals and double violin and Ustad Dildar Hussain, famed tabla player for Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Paul Mercs Concerts has announced.
Tickets go on sale on Friday, August 7 at 10 a.m. at www.ticketmaster.ca, 1-855-985-5000 or all Ticketmaster outlets.
Hans Raj Hans stands tall among all Sufi singers, with his unusual ability to present this genre of music in its truest form. His voice and style of singing is indeed suited to Sufi renditions. This noted Sufi artist is a Padam Shree Awardee, the highest civilian award, presented by Indian President Pratibha Patil for his inimitable and significant contribution in the field of music. Has Raj Hans is most versatile in his singing and this has been time and again proven by his various singing styles not only in Punjabi folk but also in Punjabi movies, classical and Bollywood music. However, due to his immense love for Sufism, he has dedicated his life to Sufism and to let it grow and live in the hearts of people forever.
His performances have not only established him as a musical treasure in his own country, India, but have gained him worldwide fame. In appreciation of his contribution to Sufiana Singing, San Jose University, California, had appointed him as visiting Professor of Sufism. A recipient of numerous honors from the beginning, he was awarded Punjab State Singer Award (Raj Gayak) by the Punjab Government. He has been conferred lifetime fellowship by Punjabi University, Patiala, in recognition of his originality and versatility.
His ever-growing fame has earned him the Sangeet Natak Academy Award, an award that very few people have the honor of receiving. He has made a great impression amongst renowned music artists and prestigious film personalities. Lata ji had extended a special invitation on her birthday where Hans Raj Hans spellbound the eminent personalities of film industry with his magical performance of his evergreen song “Yaara Sili Sili”. The legendary late Nustat Fateh Ali Khan Sahib specially invited Hans Raj Hans from Jalandhar for the film “Kacheche Dhaage” to sing the track “Ishq Di Galli Vich”, his debut Hindi film. Hans Raj Hans has worked with A.R. Rehman for the film “Nayak”.
What makes him truly exceptional is the message of love, peace and brotherhood that he promotes through his music. Hans Raj Hans has been performing for the past 13 years on 14th of August at the India – Pakistan Wagah border, which is witnessed by thousands of Indians and Pakistanis including the prominent officials of both the countries.
He also helped in fundraising along with Bill Clinton for the India American Society and raised $1.5 million (U.S.) for the Gujarat earthquake victims. His contributions include his active participation in fundraising initiatives across the world for humanity, peace and save the girl child cause. He delivers a truly moving message through his gayakee (singing) – “na nasha karo na vaar karo, je karna hai ta pyaar karo” (Don’t indulge into any kind of drugs or violence. Indulge completely into love).
He considers it his responsibility to pass on the teachings of great Sufi saints to others. Hans Raj Hans has dedicated his life to the soulful music and would like to see music as a non-commercial education. For this very reason he has a lifetime dream to establish a sangeet ashram for the preservation of traditional tunes and Sufism.
Shenkar is widely considered a living legend and a musical genius by his peers who hold him in the highest esteem. Shenkar has enthralled audiences and critics alike all over the world. A child prodigy who is a virtuoso vocalist (with a five and a half octave vocal range), multi-instrumentalist, composer and record producer who has sold over 50 million albums through his solo projects and collaborations with other artists throughout the world.
Shenkar’s previous pop albums have featured guest artists such as Frank Zappa, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison, John Waite, Stewart Copeland (The Police), Ginger Baker, Toto, Jonathan Davis (Korn), Natasha Bedingfield, Pat Monahan (Train),Randy Jackson (American Idol) and Patrick Leonard (Madonna) amongst others.
Shenkar’s pop DVD, “One In A Million”, became the number 1 DVD in the US spending 4 weeks on top of the U.S. Soundscan/Billboard charts. Shenkar has also collaborated with Frank Zappa (who produced Shenkar’s solo record for Zappa Records), Talking Heads, Pete Townsend, Lou Reed, Marianne Faithful, Jeff Beck, Sting, U2, The Pretenders, Echo & The Bunnymen, John Lydon (Public Image Ltd.), George Harrison, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Dave Stewart, Jonathan Davis (Korn),Robert Trujillo (Metallica),DJ Baba G, Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction) and more.Shenkar co-found and co-wrote all the materials for the ground breaking group Shakti with John McLaughiln.
Shenkar created and designed his own invention, the 10-string stereophonic Double Violin, built by Ken Parker. The Double Violin covers the entire range of the orchestra.
Shenkar has worked on numerous soundtracks including the Grammy award winning and controversial “The Last Temptation of Christ” by the legendary film maker Martin Scorsese. He co-wrote many tracks with Peter Gabriel and his vocals were featured in the movie. In 2004 Shenkar, composed and performed vocals on Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”. His unmistakable haunting voice was heard all through the movie.
Shenkar has released numerous solo albums and videos in various idioms of music from pop, rock, EDM, world music, classical and soundtracks, including the musical composition of the 2005 Oscar winning documentary, “Born Into Brothels”. In 1990, Shenkar co-produced a one-hour BBC film directed by award winning director H.O. Nazareth. It was nominated as one of the best documentaries at the Cannes Film Festival. Shenkar’s work has been featured in the following films: “Queen of The Damned”, “Ali”, “Jennifer 8″, “Robin Hood”, “Jacobs Ladder” and more.
Shenkar collaborated with the gifted duo Wendy & Lisa (Prince) on their original score for the NBC smash hit TV series “Heroes”. Shenkar is the featured lead vocalist on the theme and all episodes of “Heroes”.