The death of legendary Qawal Amjad Sabri has come as a shock to Qawali fans around the world. The loss of his immense talent is saddening, but it becomes so much more tragic once we consider that Amjad Sabri was the torchbearer in a long line of illustrious musicians of the Sabri family.

Ghulam Farid Sabri and Maqbool Ahmed Sabri – who were taught the art of Qawali by their father, Ustad Inayat Hussain Sabri – formed the original band “Sabri Brothers” and recorded their first album shortly after Independence in 1958. During the next couple of decades, the Sabri brothers gained worldwide renown, performing in locations such as Carnegie Hall and London. They stood as peers to Ustaad Nusrat Fateh Ali khan, and are credited with the popularity of Qawalis in the west. Amjad Sabri was the son Maqbool Ahmed Sabri.

The Sabri family has been an ambassador of Pakistan since its inception, and this brutal murder taints one of the few true icons of this country.

“I have grown up listening to Sabri Sahab and his demise is a loss to world music more than Pakistani music. All eyes are on Amjad Sabri to carry the true form of qawwali music to the next generation.”

–Khalid Khan, Bass player from Aroh – September 2011.