The Aga Khan Music Awards 2022 this week announced its 10 winners with an amazing list of artists spanning genres ranging from Asian folk to West African blues.
All winners will receive cash prizes totaling $500,000 at a ceremony to take place at the Royal Opera House Muscat from October 29 to 31.
First awarded in 2019, the triennial celebration is held under the auspices of the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslim community, with the aim of supporting artists and preserving the musical heritage in areas such as the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia and North Africa.
“Music can serve as a cultural anchor, deepening a sense of community, identity and heritage, while simultaneously reaching out in powerful ways to people of different backgrounds,” reads the award statement.
“While contributing to the preservation and ongoing development of musical heritage, many of the laureates draw on the power of music to raise awareness about social and environmental issues.”
According to the statement, the winners were chosen by a jury of international arts professionals including Sheika Hala bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, the director general for Bahrain’s Authority for Culture and Antiquities, and British dancer and choreographer Akram Khan.
A look at five of the winners from this year’s Aga Khan Music Awards.
Daud Khan Sadozai (Afghanistan)
Leading exponent of the Afghan rubab who has had a major impact on the preservation, development and dissemination of Afghan music worldwide.
Afel Bocoum (Mali)
The singer and musician combines acoustic guitar with local instruments to develop a sound described as “desert blues.” Bocoum also collaborated with Blur singer Damon Albarn on the successful 2002 album Mali Music.
Zakir Hussain (India)
The musician has been acknowledged for his three-decade career that saw him elevate the status of the Indian percussive instrument, the tabla, and building cultural bridges through various world tours.
Known as the “Queen of Pashtun Folklore”, Zarsanga’s five-decade career has been devoted to the traditional music and poetry of tribal Pashtuns.
Yahya Hussein Abdallah (Tanzania)
The dynamic singer and composer of devotional Islamic songs has released pieces in Swahili and in more than a dozen of Tanzania’s 126 local languages.