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Creating world music for the 21st century, Niyaz is captivating and awe-inspiring.

The group consists of three profound artists: Azam Ali, the vocalists of the former world music group Vas, Loga Ramin Torkian, an extremely talented multi-instrumentalists and Carmen Rizzo, a two time Grammy Award nominee producer/remixer.

At Café Du Nord last Sunday, Niyaz gave a spellbinding performance. Niyaz, which is Persian for yearning, could not be a better forename for the highly acclaimed world music group. Ali induced the audience to follow her on what seemed like a spiritual journey through multiple cultural and artistic lenses. I felt as though I was part of a fellowship, collectively making our way through the rugged Iranian mountain ranges. I had to continuously open up my eyes and realize that I actually was not part of a fellowship and that I, along with the others in attendance, were still in Café Du Nord located on Market St in the heart of the Castro.

Combined with Ali’s enchanting poetry, the cadence produced by the musicians is without comparison. Niyaz have proclaimed themselves “world music for the 21st century”, a bold statement at the very least. The group is currently in the process of releasing a new album but their crossed feelings leave them still deciding to release in 2007 or 2008, “ we want to take our time and be sure that the vision for the new CD is not compromised in any way”. With the fate of world music in their hands, I appreciate the prudence that Niyaz demonstrates.

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