Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Look in many a music store and you'll find Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan filed under "world music." At the best of times, it's an uncomfortable label — inextricably associated with trendy advertising soundtracks and middle-class dinner parties, and crassly combining genres as diverse as Berber Amazigh and Mexican huapango under the same marketing conceit. But shortly before his death, Khan was becoming one of the very few so-called world-music artists to transcend this pigeonhole: growing numbers of international listeners were appreciating his art as extraordinary music, period.

Who can say what further bridges he might have built between...

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