How about some awesome middle eastern grooves? They don't get more groovier than Niyaz.
Niyaz is made up as follows:
Azam Ali - Voice, Santour, Hammered Dulcimer, Daf, Frame Drums, Riqq, Chan Chan, Zils
Carmen Rizzo - Programming, Keyboards, Synthesizers Loga Ramin Torkian - Guitar Viol, Kamaan, Saz, Lafta, Djura, Guitars
Azam Ali of the amazing voice, another where I have no idea what she is singing, but it sounds great.
Azam Ali was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up in India from the age of four in the small town of Panchgani, a hill station in the state of Maharashtra. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 changed the course of Azam’s life, as it did for many Iranians. Unwilling to bring her daughter back to a country filled with uncertainty, her mother decided to give up her home and life, and together they moved to America in 1985 when Azam was just a teenager. Azam felt that she wanted to pursue a career in music after falling in love with the Persian santour (hammered dulcimer). It was during one of her santour lessons that her teacher heard her sing for the first time. Completely taken, he told her that her voice had a rare emotional quality about it which should be cultivated and nurtured. A voice which Billboard magazine would later describe as "a glorious unforgettable instrument."If you have a moment in time check out their amazing new album Sumud.
For those who have grown up with Western pop music and who don’t speak Arabic (or Persian or Turkish), the temptation when listening to a Niyaz album is simply to sit back and let the sinuous grooves and “exotic” melodies wash over you in a state of blissful Orientalist incomprehension. But that’s always been a good way to miss a significant part of what this band is doing. While the lyrical themes of their first two albums have focused mainly on issues related to Iranians in exile around the world, their third, titled Sumud (Steadfastness) deals with broader issues of cultural diaspora and ethnic minority status. The program draws on Kurdish, Turkish, Afghani, and Palestinian material as well as folk songs from Iran; some of the songs are traditional folk music, while others are settings of secular and mystical poems from the 11th to the 17th centuries. For the most part, the songs are not directly political; instead, they tend to address predictable themes of love and longing, cultural tolerance, suffering as a shared experience, and endurance.Revel in the experience. Check out three of the tracks from this amazing album.
Parishaan New song from Niyaz from their upcoming 3rd album, titled Sumud. The song is called "Parishaan" and it was previewed in a performance in New York City in November 2011.