Musical Performance: Karyshma: Hindu Hymns and Qawwali Chants

Fri, September 12, 2008 9:30 pm at Alwan for the Arts

(View all musical performances »)

The Third Annual Alwan Festival of Sacred Music

$15 ($10 Students with valid ID)

House opens 9:00 PM

Karyshma: Hindu Hymns and Qawwali Chants


Gaurav Shah (Vocals, Harmonium, Bansuri)

Sandeep Swadia (Tabla)

Arun Ramamurthy (Violin)

Mark Tewarson (Guitar)

The Music:

Though praising different deities and sacred figures, both Hindu sacred music and Qawwali share the same music system and are entrenched in the same cultural traditions. Historians trace the origins of Qawwali to the 8th century major Persian migration into the Indian Subcontinent where the Shisti Sufi order introduced the ritual of Sama', a Sufi ritual aimed at making the participants reach the state of Wajd when they unify with God. The genre, however, carries many other Arab elements and is based essentially on the Hindustani raag and taal system, and a simpler instrumentation consisting mostly of harmonium, tabla and clapping accompanying the singers.

Karyshma songs move seamlessly between the two genres.

The Musicians:


Gaurav Shah

Gaurav is an initiated disciple of Ustad Sultan Khan. He learned flute from Pandit Ronu Majumdar and studied Western classical piano before discovering singing. While at Harvard, he co-founded the band Karyshma. He now also works closely with Falu, with whom he's appeared at Carnegie Hall, on national Fox TV, on multiple yoga compilations, alongside Ustad Sultan Khan on the maestro's debut U.S. album Rare Elements, and in the music of Angelina Jolie's film A Place in Time.

Sandeep Swadia

Sandeep started playing tabla at age 5 and had his first global music tour at age 14. A former Grade A musician in the Bollywood music industry, Sandeep has performed over 1500 concerts in 12 countries including at Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden. Sandeep formally learned tabla from the legendary maestro Ustad Alla Rakha, and now learns from Ustad Zakir Hussain.

Arun Ramamurthy

Arun Ramamurthy is an exciting young violinist trained in the ancient tradition of Carnatic classical music, initially from Sri A. Ananthakrishnan. Since 2000, he has had the privilege of learning closelyfrom theviolin greats Sri Mysore Nagaraj and Dr. Mysore Manjunath. Arun has been performingthroughout the US and India for the past 10 years, and is now based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Mark Tewarson

Mark is a guitarist and songwriter who was featured on the cover of India Today Magazine and is a former recipient of the John Lennon Best Songwriter Award presented by Yoko Ono. His music and voice have appeared on multiple hit TV shows and commercials, and he recently finished his Broadway debut tour with Jersey Boys. He is the musical director of Falu

This event is made possible in part by a generous grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

Last updated: 2008-09-06 09:40:30


Alwan for the Arts

16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
(between Broad St. and Broadway)
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732-3261

Alwan Auction 2016

Join Our Mailing List:



Classes are currently being scheduled. Please check back soon for updates.



There are currently no upcoming events.


16 Beaver Street
4th Floor
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732 3261
Email Us

Alwan for the Arts is accessible to people with disabilities. Please call 646 732 3261 in advance, or, buzz at the door to arrange a ramp.

© 2020 Alwan for the Arts

Hosting donated by:, the Arabic Encyclopedia