K Qais Essar, talented musician, composer, and well experienced live performer, carries on the traditional legacy of classical Afghan instrumentation, as set by Ustad Mohammad Omar- the “Father of the Rabab”. Trained extensively in both classical and traditional mediums, Essar has been able to fuse the Rabab with both western and eastern styling, collaborating with many prominent artists and masters, covering the musical spectrum, performing domestically and internationally.
'Zima Afghanistan', Essar's second release is a meditative and exotic blend of old world instrumentation, with a dynamic and contemporary flare, an amalgamation of eastern music and traditions comprising of an all star cast. Self-produced, Zima Afghanistan features eight tracks; each one highlighting Essar’s work on the Rabab, an Afghan lute instrument that can be dated back 2500 years. A portion of the proceeds from the album will benefit Women for Afghan Women, a non-profit, grassroots, civil society organization; whose mission is dedicated to securing and protecting the rights of disenfranchised Afghan women and girls in Afghanistan and New York, particularly their rights to develop their individual potential, to self-determination, and to be represented in all areas of life: political, social, cultural and economic.
The Rabab is mentioned in countless works of Sufi poetry, having then, and continuing to still ensnare the hearts of its audience, with its charming, and sweet tones, whether used in a classical or folk fashion. The pride of its people, the Rabab is carefully crafted from the finest wood, harvested from the mulberry trees native to Afghanistan with goat skin stretched across the top. With 3 core strings, 2 drone strings, and 11-13 sympathetic strings (tuned to the specific raga) and struck with a wooden plectrum, the Rabab produces a deep ambient timbre, deliberate; unrivaled.