When: Sun., Feb. 24, 8 p.m. 2008
Growing up in a family of famous singers in Pakistan, Riffat Sultana longed to carry on the tradition, but women aren't allowed to sing classical Sufi music in public, even when her father is the great UstadSalamat Ali Khan. Moving to the Bay Area, Sultana gained attention in her brother, Sukhawat Ali Khan's band Shabaz. The first woman from her family to perform publicly in the West, Sultana launches a new Sunday series at Ashkenaz (1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley), sacred dance concerts with her own band, Riffat Sultana & Party, in a program of songs that touch on the three religions of her homeland (Sufi, Hindu, and Islam), as well love songs, or ghazals. Sun. (Feb. 24), 8 p.m., $12, Ashkenaz.com or 510-525-5054.