Tales from the Punjab

Shez Raja

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“Vivid and highly engaging” - BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★

“An explosive and shimmering experiment” - Financial Times ★★★★

“‘Stories are told in ways ancient, modern, spiritual and sustaining. Not for nothing is the closer called ‘Enlightenment’” - Jazzwise ★★★★

“Musical tales eloquently told” - The Scotsman ★★★★

“Vital and beautiful oneness...a transcendental sequence in which to ‘lose’ oneself” - London Jazz News

For his latest album Tales from the Punjab, released in 2021 on Ubuntu Music, Shez digs deep into his rich South Asian heritage to create his most exquisite and heartfelt recording to date. Early the previous year Raja travelled to the Punjab to explore his identity and immerse himself in the musical culture of his roots.

Whilst in the vibrant city of Lahore he had a magical and enlightening experience collaborating with some of the most accomplished musicians of the subcontinent including Ahsan Papu (bansuri flute player for legendary singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan), Zohaib Hassan (seventh-generation sarangi player of the Amritsar Gharana), Kashif Ali Dani (tabla maestro of the Punjab Gharana which includes Zakir Hussain), singing prodigy Fiza Haider and cajon guru Qamar Abbas.

“For several days we shared a musical and spiritual journey together through ancient ragas, traditional melodies and free improvisations, creating a bridge between cultures with beautiful, exotic and timeless sounds,” says Raja.

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