There were many other highlights too that attempted, and successfully achieved, these musical goals, often to stirring effect. What comes to mind right away is the ‘Pakistani Sufi Kalam’, sung by Shumaila Hemani, who accompanied herself on a portable harmonium. (The Calgary Herald) Here was one of the most emotionally involving laments I have heard in a long time. I enjoy melancholy songs from many different cultures, each expressing radically different inner existential visions of what it means to be sad. In this case, Ms. Hemani’s piece struck a nerve in me for its paradoxical robustness, its vocal virtuosity, the harmonic texture contained in her solo line, and the sense of working out an inner grief by building emotional power and inexorable drive right up to the final note. It ended the first half with a bang and hardly a whimper. (The Calgary Herald, April 24, 2015)”

Stephan Bonfield

Singer-Style Poet recognized for Enriching Edmonton

From the shrines of rural Pakistan to the theatres of urban Edmonton, Shumaila Hemani’s performance of traditional Sufi Islamic poetry has mesmerized many. “I think this style of singing is really very powerful and brings forward a person’s true self and connects with other people’s deepest selves. I have no other way of explaining what I encounter through my musical performances,” Hemani said.”

Samantha McKay