Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

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The University of Oxford’s Faculty of Music is excited to announce that renowned Pakistani Singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is to give a once in a lifetime concert at Oxford University’s Sheldonian Theatre. The fundraising concert will be held at 8pm on Thursday the 25th of May with Khan generously donating the proceeds to support the work of Oxford University’s Faculty of Music. The Faculty plan to use the funds to invest in further concerts that promote Indian Classical Music and musicians from diverse backgrounds. Khan also plans to donate a harmonium played by his celebrated uncle, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and the money raised will help to support the upkeep of this instrument.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is a popular Pakistani singer, primarily of Qawwali, the devotional music of the Muslim Sufis. He began his career at the age of three, performing and studying under the tutelage of the “King of Qawwali”, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Since then he has taken on the responsibility of carrying forward his 600 year old family legacy by spreading qawwali to audiences across the globe. He has also gained a vast following through his work in Bollywood and has regularly sold out arena tours in the UK, the US, the Middle East and India. Khan will perform alongside The Fusion Project, an ensemble of students from Oxford University brought together by their shared mission to revive and make accessible the beauty of Indian Classical Arts.

The programme will comprise of a series of original fusion compositions and qawwalis arranged and produced by Rushil Ranjan, the lead singer and guitarist of the Fusion Project. Along with Khan’s impressive vocals they will feature western vocals, tabla drums and the bansuri.

“We are delighted to be hosting this event at the University of Oxford; the music of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is a force on the international scene, and we are extremely grateful to the student group - The Fusion Project - for involving us in the event.” - Professor Michael Burden

The Fusion Project

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The Fusion Project was born out of a chance meeting between a blues singer-songwriter and an Indian Classical flautist, both students at Oxford University. What started out as two friends jamming together soon travelled further than the ears of their annoyed neighbours, as the rest of the band got on board.

With the support of a truly amazing fan-base, The Fusion Project has grown from its humble origins to sold-out shows in Oxford and London, performing all around the UK, and jamming with incredible international icon, Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

We bring an eastern ensemble of Hindustani and Carnatic vocals, the tabla, and the Indian Classical flute to meet with Western voice and the cello, bass, guitar and clarinet. Our aim is simple: to take the immense depth and beauty of Indian Classical music to a wider audience in the West, and also back home to a new generation of South Asians for whom Western music often takes centre stage. Ultimately, we want to build on thousands of years of Eastern and Western musical tradition to create music that is new and unique, but still true to the spirit and beauty of the Indian Classical Arts.

Only eight months after officially forming in 2015, The Fusion Project was honoured by the opportunity to perform with Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in the Holywell Music Room, the oldest music hall in Europe. The group has been covered and commended by the BBC Asian Network, as well as numerous other media outlets, attracting attention with sold out shows around the UK, and a strong social media presence across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube. Performances have ranged from on-the-spot improvised jams, to covers including an Indian Classical version of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” and a mash-up of Eddie Vedder’s "Hard Sun" with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s "Allah Hoo", as well as entirely original works, such as "Helpless".