Muslim Music Festival 2008

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Celebrating the harmony and rhythm of local Muslims

  • Love is Divine: Words of Rumi, Chapter 1 (Saturday 6th September at 8:00pm)
    A concert of classical sitar music inspired by the poetry of Rumi, presented by Ustad Khalil Gudaz, accompanied by Ramin Nawa on tabla.

  • Love is Divine: Words of Rumi, Chapter 2 (Sunday 7th September at 8:00pm)
    Rumi's poetry sung by Ustad Khalil Gudaz, accompanied by sitar, tabla, harmonium, dilruba and rebab.

  • Songs of the Heart, Rhythms of Unity (Monday 8th September, 8:00pm)
    A unique cross-over concert where qawwali meets qaladari dub and malay vocal pop meets halal hip hop.

These concerts will be held at the Northcote Town Hall, West Wing (entry via Westbourne Gve). Ticket prices for each of the first two concerts are $20 ($15 concession), and for the third concert is $15 ($12 concession); double pass for concerts 1&2 is $35; a festival pass to all three concerts is $45. Tickets are available at the door. Box office opens at 7:30pm. All shows start at 8:00pm. See below for more details on individual performers. For any other enquiries, call 0401 098 911. To join the mailing list for future events, please email If you've been to one of the concerts and would like to leave us a comment, please use the comment facility at the bottom of this page.

(view some of the artist profiles below)

Artist Profiles

Ustad Khalil Gudaz

Khalil Gudaz is one of the most outstanding practitioners of Afghani and Hindustani music in Australia today. He has created a style of Sitar melody which combines Afghani and Indian influences to give the instrument a totally new dimension. He performs the stronger, more rhythmic style of classical Sitar, his fingers moving like a cool gentle breeze, spreading the fragrance of Afghani melodies and Indian Classical music across continents.

Abdul Rasheed & The Colour of Unity Qawwali Ensemble

Fresh from performing at The Multifaith Concert 2008 at BMW Edge Federation Square, and the Holy Melbourne Concert at Melbourne Town Hall, the Colour of Unity is a group of male vocalists supported by the distinctive sound of harmonium, tabla and the ever present clapping of hands. The name Colour of Unity reflects the different backgrounds and countries of its members, including Fiji, Pakistan, Malaysia and Australia, and the unity they find together. The intention of performing Qawalli is to share to a wider audience through music the beauty and love of Islam, love of Allah and the beloved Prophet, Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him). Qawalli music is most often performed in the Urdu language, and it has been known for listeners, and even artists themselves, to be transported to a trance-like state where they feel at one with God. Following their philosophy of finding unity among diversity, the group regularly include lyrics in English and Malay in their performances. The Colour of Unity is lead by vocalist and harmonium player Abdul Rasheed, with tabla performed by Robby Kerr and chorus members Mark Pedersen, Madkhul Sani and Syajaril Radzi.

The Empty Quarter

The Empty Quarter was formed in 2007 by Melbourne-based musicians Kate Grealy, Rasheeda Cooper, Pete Emptage and Mark Pedersen. All share a love of world music and mystical poets and decided to bring their influences together to explore the way of the Qalandar – the wandering mystics of Persia and India. The Empty Quarter combine original lyrics with poems from Rumi, Hafiz and Ghalib in a unique style, mapping the territory of divine love and the human heart. The group have diverse backgrounds: Rasheeda is a classical pianist and tabla player, Kate a folk singer-songwriter, and Mark an electronic musician, who together create a distinctive, ethereal sound anchored by Pete Emptage’s soulfull electric bass. Joined by Meg Smith on violin, The Empty Quarter will be launching their debut EP at this year’s Muslim Music Festival, a feature event in the 2008 Darebin Music Feast.

Patterns for Paper

New to the stage, this young and captivating duo with Dana Madkhul on vocals and Tim Dunlea on guitar, perform a mixture of acoustic pop, jazz and folk tunes, including their own original material. Tim’s musical background hails from a strong music theory basis in piano and saxophone from a young age, performing in numerous award winning school bands and eventually finding his way to playing the acoustic guitar. Dana was exposed to music early on through her family’s dedicated involvement in community radio and cultural showcase events. Their first performances included community shows and private functions, and they were approached to take part in the Melbourne Muslim Music Festival 2007 of The Darebin Music Feast, winning the hearts of the audience. With further appearances scheduled for 2008 including Fiesta Malaysia at Federation Square, Patterns for Paper return once more to the Muslim Music Festival in 2008.

Shazet - Beatbox Champion

Shazet began his beatboxing efforts by replicating and making his own simple sound effects. By the time he was 15 he was well versed and well rehearsed and people began to take notice of his incredible talent. In 2007, he won the Talent Quest at South Oakleigh College, performed at Phaze ’07 in Melbourne, appeared at Hard Rock Café Kuala Lumpur in his home country of Malaysia and at many more well received performances around the state. Winning the Beatbox Melbourne Championships 2008, Shazet is the current Victorian champion and most recently won the Street (Rap/ Beatboxing) Category at Urban Quest 2008. He is presently working on compilations with fellow urban groups such as ‘The Brothahood’ and is involved with various hip hop crews around Malaysia and Australia.

Darebin Music Feast

(last year's festival details are here)

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