Otsfm logo

Concerts & Events

Wednesday, September 21, 2022  ·  8:30 PM CDT

Heart of Afghanistan and Qais Essar

4544 N Lincoln Ave · Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall · 773.728.6000

World Music Wednesdays

A weekly showcase of world music and dance featuring the best local and touring talent! Most shows are Wednesday nights at 8:30 PM.

Most World Music Wednesday concerts are free with a $10 suggested donation. TO GUARANTEE YOUR ENTRY MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE EITHER ONLINE OR BY CALLING THE BOX OFFICE AT 773.728.6000. Reservations unclaimed 10 minutes before showtime will be released to waiting patrons.

Heart of Afghanistan

The Heart of Afghanistan features four brilliant Afghan musicians: famed singer and Afghan TV star Ahmad Fanoos on vocals & harmonium, his sons Elham Fanoos on piano and Mehran Fanoos on violin, and Hamid Akbar on tabla. Unable to perform inside Afghanistan today, the group carries the flame of Afghanistan's rich and complex musical heritage, from its early history to the modern era. Included in the program will be traditional ghazals based on the Sufi-inspired poetry of Rumi (who was born in Afghanistan), Afghan folk music, and the iconic hits of legendary singer Ahmad Zahir. Only recently reunited in the U.S., the ensemble will give a 360-degree view of Afghan culture through music, poetry, art and cultural heritage.

Heart Of Afghanistan is an American Voices Production.


Qais Essar

Qais Essar is a contemporary Afghan composer, instrumentalist and producer who channels his melodic designs through the rabab, a 2,500 year old instrument from Afghanistan. He has toured extensively, sharing his new genre of music nationally and internationally. His first LP, The Green Language (2014), quickly became an Amazon #1 bestseller, followed by Tavern of Ruin (2016), and his 3rd album, The Ghost You Love Most (2018) to critical acclaim. He has contributed original music to feature film and television also, composing for 2021's Oscar-nominated film Three Songs for Benazir. In 2017, Qais was recruited by director Nora Twomey to compose an original song for her Golden Globe and Oscar-nominated film, The Breadwinner (produced by Angelina Jolie). He earned a Canadian Screen Award for “Best Original Song” for his piece The Crown Sleeps. Additionally, he orchestrated a sold-out run of the musical Tear a Root from the Earth at the OBIE award winning Ice Factory at the New Ohio Theater in New York City. Essar continues to be featured in festivals and venues around the world including the Newport Folk Festival, SxSW, The Kennedy Center, Treefort Music Festival and more.