Naseeruddin Saami

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ustad Saami at WOMADelaide, Australia, March 9, 2020.

Naseeruddin Saami (born 1945) is a classical singer from Pakistan. He is called ustad for his mastery of classical music. He is best known for his Khyal style of singing.[1] He began learning singing in 1950s from another renowned classical vocalist, Qawwal and musician of his time Munshi Raziuddin. He belongs to Delhi Gharana of music style. He sings in the style of ‘Khayal Vocalist’.[2] He is recipient of Tamgha-e-Imtiaz Pride of Performance for service to music.[3][4]


Ustad Saami is the last living vocal practitioner of an ancient 49-note microtonal Surti (or shruti) scale.[5][6]

With the help of Saami's students Ali Sethi and Zeb Bangash, Saami's recorded music was brought to the world internationally by Grammy-winning US producer, Ian Brennan (music producer),[7] through three albums recorded at Saami's home in Pakistan and released by Glitterbeat Records starting in 2019. These albums led to Saami performing for the first time ever in the UK (at the Womad festival)[8] and in Australia at the Womadelaide festival.[9][10] He was also invited to perform at Denmark's legendary Roskilde Festival.[11] The Guardian has called him "superhuman."[12]

He is featured in the 90-minute documentary movie Closer to God by Swiss director Annette Berger, which has been shown at numerous festivals including Le Guess Who and Oster. [13]


  • God is not a terrorist, Ustad Saami (Glitterbeat Records, January 2019)[14]
  • Pakistan is for the peaceful, Ustad Saami (Glitterbeat, October 2020)[15]
  • East Pakistan Sky, Ustad Saami (Glitterbeat Records, October 2021)[16]

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 2020: Ustad Saami's God is not a terrorist nominated for a Songlines Music Award, Best Asian Album category[17]
  • 2021: Ustad Saami's Pakistan is for the peaceful nominated for a Songlines Music Award, Best Asian Album category[18]
  • 2022: Ustad Saami's east Pakistan sky won a Songlines Music Award, Best Asia & Pacific Album category[19]


  1. ^ "Ustad Naseeruddin Saami is collaborating with a Grammy-winning producer". 10 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Ustaad Naseeruddin Saami and Ian Brennan team up for a cross-cultural project". 16 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Zeb Bangash presents Ustaad Naseeruddin Saami and Sons in partnership with Salt Arts".
  4. ^ "Meeting of Maestros". 5 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Ustad Saami - God Is Not a Terrorist / a RootsWorld review". Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  6. ^ "Loose Ends - Debbie Horsfield, Elaine Bedell, Sean O'Connor, Spencer Jones, Ustad Saami, Brushy One String, JP Devlin, Nikki Bedi - BBC Sounds". Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Closer to God - Basic information (in German)". Retrieved 2020-02-27.
  14. ^ "USTAD SAAMI : God Is Not A Terrorist - CD - GLITTERBEAT - Forced Exposure". Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  15. ^ "Raags Against the Machine: Pakistan is for the Peaceful by Ustad Saami".
  16. ^ "New Mix: Le Ren, Wet Leg, Ustad Saami, NoSo, More : All Songs Considered".
  17. ^ "Songlines Music Awards 2020". Songlines.
  18. ^ "Songlines Music Awards 2021". Songlines.
  19. ^ "Songlines Music Awards 2022". Songlines.