Rizwan Muazzam Qawwali Wednesday 22 March, 7.30pm Luton Library Theatre A special tribute concert to the living legacy of Qawwali maestro Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. High quality devotional spiritual Qawwali music from Pakistan touring UK arts centres.
Popularly known as "Shahenshah-e-Qawwali", he died in 1997 but his family's six-century musical tradition did not end. The legacy of Qawwali, a form of devotional music popular in South Asia, was passed to his nephews, Rizwan and Muazzam, exceptional singers who carry on the Sufi tradition of musical devotion and exhaltation.
Najma Akhtar presents Five Rivers Friday 21 April, 7.30pm Luton Library Theatre This performance highlights and previews songs from Najma Akhtar's album Five Rivers and presents artistic musical and cultural diversity at its best.
Five Rivers is a musical journey that starts in India with the Ganges, travels to the River Niger in Africa, passes to the UK with the River Thames, goes to Ireland with the River Shannon and finally ends at the Mississippi Delta. The synergies that connect them are multifarious. It is the voice that tells the story and ballads of unrequited love are universal.
The Diary of a Hounslow Girl Saturday 18 March, 7.30pm The Hat Factory Arts Centre You've heard of an Essex Girl or even a Chelsea Girl but what is a Hounslow Girl?
From traditional Pakistani weddings to fights on the night bus The Diary of a Hounslow Girl is told through the eyes of a hooped earring, headscarf wearing 16 year old British Muslim Girl growing up in West London. A funny, bold, provocative play highlighting the challenges of being brought up as a young woman in a traditional Muslim family, alongside the temptations and influences growing up in and around London.
Made in India Friday 31 March - Saturday 1 April, 7.30pm The Hat Factory Arts Centre In a surrogacy clinic in Gujarat, three women meet. Londoner Eva is in motherhood's last chance saloon. For village girl Aditi, surrogacy is a lifeline out of poverty. For clinic owner and businesswoman Dr Gupta, it's all just another transaction but with the backdrop of profound global forces, can it possibly remain that simple?
The play focuses on a largely untold, deeply human story set on the fault lines of globalization; a cross-cultural encounter which could only take place in the 21st Century.
Beyond Borders: The Art of Integration Sunday 2 April - Monday 19 June, 10am - 5pm Stockwood Discovery Centre Beyond Borders: The Art of Integration is an inspiring photographic exhibition by renowned photographer Peter Sanders, comprising striking images highlighting the positive ways in which Muslims of different cultures and backgrounds have contributed to the rich cultural diversity of the United Kingdom.
Beyond the Frame Events May - July The Hat Factory Arts Centre A season of South Asian song, dance and spoken word.
South Asian dance looks outwards - performed in the informal space of Connor's Café Bar, in the open space of the Cultural Quarter to the intimate setting of Studio One, Luton audiences are invited to engage with the dance, and stories narrated through music and movement. No previous experience of Indian dance necessary, come with eager eyes and an open heart. The dance is for all to enjoy.