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April 11, 2007

Salman Ahmad brings 'Sufi Rock 'n' Soul' to Stanford

Salman Ahmad, a singer, guitarist and composer considered one of the foremost rock musicians in South Asia—akin to John Lennon in the West—will present a concert of "Sufi Rock 'n' Soul" at 7:30 p.m. April 14 in Campbell Recital Hall.

Ahmad is the founder of Junoon, South Asia's most popular rock band. At Stanford, he will be performing with Samir Chatterjee, renowned as a virtuoso on the tabla, a pair of small drums—treble and bass—that are played with the fingers, palms and heels of the hands.

The concert will be preceded by a screening of Sufi Soul: The Mystic Music of Islam, a one-hour documentary that explores the mystical and musical side of Islam through the traditions of Sufi music in Syria, Turkey, Pakistan, India and Morocco. Ahmad is interviewed in the film.

A musician known for his political activism, Ahmad was featured in a 2003 documentary, The Rock Star and the Mullahs, which tracked his visit to the northern Pakistani town of Peshawar, where Ahmad challenged the local Muslim clergy that had banned all forms of music.

Students, staff and faculty with a valid Stanford ID who arrive before the 6:30 p.m. screening of Sufi Soul will receive free admission to the concert, which is part of a new quarterly performing arts series showcasing traditional Asian music and dance at Stanford. Tickets must be picked up in advance at will call beginning at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Campbell Auditorium.

Otherwise, tickets are $15 ($12 for students and seniors). Tickets can be purchased by phone at 725-2787, at the Stanford Ticket Office in Tresidder Union or at the door. To buy tickets online, visit



Kathleen Sullivan, News Service: (650) 724-5708,


Wendy Abraham, associate director, Asian Religions and Cultures Initiative: (650) 725-6025,

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