Shumaila Hemani and the Sufi Ensemble

Shumaila Hemani

September 3, 2023. 2 PM. Co*Lab (9641 102A Ave NW) and Livestream Tickets

Shumaila Hemani and the Sufi Ensemble

September 3, 2023, 2 PM. Co*Lab

We’re launching our 2023-24 season with one of Alberta’s most renowned artists, Shumaila Hemani, presenting a live performance of her extraordinary work, Mannat performed by Shumaila Hemani, James Watson (Violin), and Sujeev Chohan (Tabla).

Tickets $10-$20. Now Hear This Festival Passes will be honoured at this event.

Sufi Music, Poetry, and Dwelling

What is it to dwell? According to the Oxford Dictionary, dwelling is defined as a place of residence, a habitation, or a house. A dwelling is not only a physical space or a building but signifies a basic need of humans to stay in a place to remain. We make a physical space into a home and a place to dwell through our daily activities that become rituals in that space and through the people with whom we co-habit these spaces, whom we invite into our space and with the conversations we have in the languages we speak and wisdom that we pass on. This musical experience is a deep listening experience to understand the experience of dwelling with Sufi poetry and music from Pakistan and the impact of the recent monsoons on it.


“Staying rooted within traditional forms and honouring that while also bringing in experimentation, Hemani sings Sufi epics in South Asian Sufi tradition compellingly,” (New Works Calgary). Shumaila Hemani, Ph.D. is an Alberta-based singer-songwriter, acousmatic composer and community-engaged artist sculpting with the environment’s sounds and addressing the world’s climate crisis. Hemani’s debut album, Mannat (a prayer, a Wish), is an awakening about climate emergency and the need for action. Based on Sufi poetry from South Asia and sound recordings of heavy rainfall, floods, and other environmental sounds, Mannat is an immersive experience of deep listening to soundscapes of climate change. It was applauded as “powerful” in evoking a spirit of perseverance in supporting victims of climate disaster in Pakistan and featured in the National Observer, CBC’s What on Earth, Edmonton Journal, and Calgary Herald. Hemani won the Cultural Diversity Award and Women in Music Honors in Emerging Voices (2023) and is currently serving as an Artist in Residence working on climate justice in Alberta.

Sujeev Chohan (tabla) As a student of both the Indian Classical and Western Classical arts, Sujeev has been learning
and performing music from a very young age. He started off with the piano at the age of 4, studying through the Royal Conservatory of Music before he picked up the Tabla, which he’s been learning since he was 8. He has performed at various events, including Love Notes at the Arts Commons, and was a part of the World Music Ensemble at the University of Calgary. In his performances, he has engaged audiences through collaboration with various solo and group artists from many different backgrounds.

James Watson (violin) is a proud member of Calgary’s professional music community. He started playing the violin at the age of 7, and now, since completing his Bachelor of Music (minor in linguistics), he is a full-time freelance member of Calgary’s music community, working as a teacher, mentor, composer, recording, and performing artist, with new roles lurking around every corner. His stand-out work as an emerging composer-in-residence at the cSpace, GRAND theatre, and the Arts Commons respectively, provided his first platforms as a composer and sparked his enthusiasm. He’s also worked on recording projects which range from a JUNO-nominated orchestra album with Orchestre de la Francophonie to art-pop to originals. 



Co*Lab (9641 102A Ave NW): Wheelchair access at front door. All-gender single stall washrooms.
Shumaila Hemani. Credit Katherine Kwan.
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