Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Visiting Artist in the University of Washington Ethnomusicology Program in 1992-93, was known internationally as the leading exponent of qawwali, devotional poetry of the Sufis of South Asia, until his death on August 16, 1997. He was born and raised in Faisalabad, Pakistan but maintained close ties to the city of Lahore. Nusrat began his formal training in classical music under the tutelage of his father, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, who led a qawwali ensemble. After the death of his father, Nusrat was formally taught the art of qawwali by his uncle. He took over the leadership of his family's ensemble in 1971 and soon became famous in his own right.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan toured internationally with his ensemble and was credited with introducing the art of qawwali to international audiences as well as to the young people of Pakistan. In 1987, he was awarded the President's Pride-of-Performance award for his contribution to Pakistani music. Recordings of Nusrat and his ensemble can be found on JVC, Real World (with Peter Gabriel), the soundtrack recording of the movie "Dead Man Walking" (with Eddie Vedder), and numerous other commercial labels.
"Nusrat! Live at Meany", a videotaped performance of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan during his residency at the University of Washington in 1993, was originally distributed by University of Washington Press but is currently out of print (as of 8/97). See Ethnomusicology Publications for updates on its future availability.
Photograph by Shantha Benegal
Dr. Hiromi Lorraine Sakata with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan during his residency in the University of Washington Ethnomusicology Program, 1992-93.