Qais Essar x Fazelyar Brothers

Qais Essar is a contemporary Afghan composer, instrumentalist and producer who channels his melodic designs through the rabab, a 2,500-year-old instrument from Afghanistan. He has toured extensively, sharing his new genre of music nationally and internationally. Essar has released two LPs, five EPs and one live album. He has also contributed original music to feature films. In 2017, Qais was recruited by director Nora Twomey to compose an original song for her Golden Globe and Oscar-nominated film, "The Breadwinner" (produced by Angelina Jolie). He earned a Canadian Screen Award for "Best Original Song" for his piece "The Crown Sleeps." Essar continues to be featured in festivals and venues around the world including at the Newport Folk Festival, SXSW, The Kennedy Center, Treefort Music Festival and more.

Essar's new EP, "I am Afghan, Afghani is a Currency Vol. III," just came out, and is available for streaming on all major platforms!


Featuring the Fazelyar Brothers.

Haris Fazelyar was introduced to the tabla at a young age and undertook formal training a number of years ago. In addition to the tabla, Haris plays many other instruments including the piano and accordion. Wares Fazelyar plays the rubab and has been mentored by many, including Qais Essar. Haris and Wares work to share the folk music of Afghanistan with their listeners. They have performed at various cultural events across the GTA.

And Ed Hanley.

Ed Hanley has studied tabla (north Indian classical percussion) for over 27 years with master drummers including Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee and Taalyogi Suresh Talwalkar in Canada, the USA and on 12 trips to India. He has also studied Carnatic drumming traditions with Sri Karaikudi Mani in Chennai and Dr Trichy Sankaran in Chennai and Toronto. As co-artistic director of the Canadian world music ensemble Autorickshaw, Ed has earned three Juno Award nominations, a Canadian Folk Music Award, as well as the Grand Prize in the World Music category of the John Lennon Songwriting Competition.