Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Junoon will be back

Junoon will release another album with Ali Azmat and Salman Ahmed, lets hope Brian O’connel will join them.

Junoon is going to continue, says Salman Ahmad, founder and lead guitarist of the Sufi rock sensation that swept the subcontinent in the mid-1990s. “When I first conceived of Junoon it had no members. Members have come and gone ever since, ” he said.
Ahmad was speaking after a musical performance at the Asia Society in New York City.
But he is also working on another solo album. Along with tabla player Samir Chatterjee, he played three of his new numbers at the performance.

Ahmad, a former medical doctor, uses the words of Sufi saints to put out a political message. His present inspiration is the Sufi poet Rumi. “We’re celebrating Rumi’s 800th birth anniversar. His love for humanity, I feel, speaks to both the East and West,” says Ahmad. “In this post-9/11 world, when some talk of a clash of civilisations, his words are relevant.”

Ahmad noted that a bluegrass country band in the American heartland, The Illumination, had also adopted lyrics from Sufi saints like Rumi. “This fills me with hope.”
Ahmad is also recording a single for the upcoming Greenpeace album with Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, both formerly of the Eurythmics. Amid all this, he is an artist-in-residence at Queens College, New York, and still touring and singing. “I was in New Delhi two weeks ago and will be off to Karachi to sing soon.”

Junoon, which released seven albums and his best-known for the hit sing Sayonee, had a reunion concert in March last year. Like Ahmad, however, most of its members are now pursuing solo careers. “Junoon (obsession in Urdu) is sort of my whole approach to life. So it’s going to continue,” says Ahmad.

Ali Azmat performing a solo number added on March 21, 2007.

Salman Ahmed Preforming in Chicago March 4th 2007.


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