The word qawali is derived from the Arabic word Qaul which means ‘’axion ‘’ or ‘’dictum’’. A qawal is one who sings qawali. Qawali is closely linked to the spiritual and artistic life of Northern India and Pakistan. Traditionally performed at Sufi Shrines and gatherings for the purpose of spiritual uplifting, more commonly known as sema,this beautiful artform is now more widespread becoming extremely popular across a wide range of audiences. Typically , a qawali group consists of 1 or 2 leading vocalist, harmoniums ,percussionists ( tabla, dholak ) , backing vocalists/clappers (chorus singers). An emensely powerful spiritual music which has the captivated audiences for over 8 centuries.
Salim Sabri a leading internationally known Sufi Singer . Salim is the student of the highly acclaimed and world famous Late Haji Maqbool Ahmed Sabri (Sabri brothers). He started his singing career at the age of 12. Coming from a musical/Sufi background, the art of Qawwali was inherited by Salim from his maternal uncle who is an established Qawwali singer in India.
Whilst on his first visit to India in 1977, he experienced his first live Qawwali concert in which his uncle was performing. Instantly Salim was drawn to this spiritual music and decided to take this passion further. On his return to the UK he was fortunate to learn that the legendary Sabri Brothers were on tour and grasped the opportunity to become the Shaghirdh (Student), of Haji Maqbool Ahmed Sabri one of the Brothers. This enabled him to further his knowledge over the next few years in the art of Qawwali from the undisputed masters of the art form.
Salim has also been fortunate to have met great artists such as Ustaadh Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Panditravishanker, Late Ustaadh Mehdi Hassan Khan etc, which also enabled him to further his knowledge. Salim is also Shaghird of Late Ustaadh Latafat Hussain Khan (Rampur Gharana) and Ustaadh Johar Ali Khan (Patiala Gharana) The Great Violin Maestro of India.
Salim Sabri has been enlightening audiences since 1988 with his established UK Group. Salim Sabri has performed all over the UK at major venues such as QEH Festival Hall London, S.E.C., N.E.C., Edinburgh Mela, Royal Concert Hall Glasgow and many more. Salim hasalso had the honour of touring with his Ustaadh (Teacher) to many countries around the world including Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Morocco, Holland, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Pakistan and Bangladesh, India to name a few. Salim has performed at many live TV programmes on channels such as, Doordarshan India, Ummah Channel, ARY, and DM Digital. Salim has truly established himself as a performer of the traditional art of Qawwali. Salim Sabri has also passed on his knowledge to many fortunate students to keep this great tradition going