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Expressing her muse through ghazals and Punjabi folk songs, Kiran Ahluwalia explores the language of the heart with beautiful artistry and smoldering intensity. Born in India, raised in Canada, and now living in New York City, her enchanting and seductive music has garnered glowing praise from critics around the world. Her’s is “a voice destined to enchant more than one generation” (fROOTS) and she possesses “a deep spirituality and tranquility that borders on the mystic” (Sing Out Magazine).  But most of all, Kiran Ahluwalia is a unique and inspiring performer and composer, who’s legion of fans continues to grow with every captivating performance and each new recording project.
Kiran has long been on a path to mastery to sing and compose ghazals — the sensual and highly literary poetry about unrequited love and passion for all things. “When I was growing up in India, very few people had recordings of any kind,” she recalls. “There were state sponsored concerts that people from all over would crowd into. These concerts were not primarily for children. They featured a repertoire, language and content that was both demanding and beyond the experience of a child. I was, however, entranced by the sound and feel of the music, even from an early age.” Seeing the strong connection Kiran had to this music, her father purchased a reel-to-reel tape machine on a visit to Hong Kong. “My father would play tapes of Indian music for me on the reel-to-reel and we would also listen to Bollywood on the radio”, Kiran recalls. “So when a song came on that I wanted to learn, my mother would quickly write down the lyrics for me”.
Kiran immersed herself in Indian classical music and ghazals from the time she was seven, but she also spent a decade of intense deep study with her guru Vithal Rao, starting in the early 1990s. At the same time, she traveled throughout the Punjab, immersing herself in the style and approach of Punjabi folk songs. Finally in 2001 she recorded her first commercial CD, Kashish-Attraction.  This was followed by Beyond Boundaries in 2003 and then a self-titled compilation that was released world wide on the Triloka label in 2005.
Her latest CD, Wanderlust was released in North America in 2007 and in Europe in May of 2008. It will also be released in India later this year on the prestigious Saragama label. All of her albums have been nominated for Juno Awards — the highest musical honour in Canada — and Beyond Boundaries also took home the prestigious prize.
Kiran has made a career of transcending the boundaries often imposed on artists from outside the mainstream.  On album, her compositions and arrangements have contributed to the evolution of the ghazal genre, through the subtle use of a multitude of sounds and styles from other cultures — including Portuguese fado guitarra, sub Saharan percussion, Celtic fiddle, Pakistani qawwali vocals, the rhubab of Afghanistan and more. In live performance she has also been a keen collaborator. Within the last year alone, Kiran has performed her compositions with a 33-piece Chamber Orchestra, jazz guitar and saxophone, an Inuit throat singer, and over the driving beat of a dub electronica group.
Kiran’s Ahluwalia’s music is a reflection of her on going quest to bring the ghazal style into a modern and global context - while maintaining a seamless through line from it’s storied past. Though she may sing about unfulfilled desires, her music reveals a compelling harmony that unites diverse inspirations into a truly sublime and satisfying whole.

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