Concert by Abida Parveen at Holland Festival 2014.
Abida Parveen is a phenomenon, the most celebrated living legend in Pakistan today. One of the few female Sufi singers in Pakistan, she’s also one of the best and most popular artists in this male dominated genre. Using her inspirational vocals alone with a minimum of accompaniment she electrifies her audiences. Parveen specialises in ghazals and khafis, two distinct forms of classic Sufi poetry, which she sets to music herself. With her passionate songs she conveys the message of love and tolerance which is at the centre of Sufism, a widespread, mystical branch of Islam. ‘The Sufi,’ she says, ‘speaks through the heart. Even if an audience cannot understand the words, their spirits will be lifted to a higher plane.’