In Britain, the music of Abida Parveen has been packaged in a series called Super Hit Ghazals. That doesn’t mean, however, that the popular female singer is the Britney Spears of Pakistan. Like the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Parveen sings qawwali, one of the world’s few traditional forms of religious music that elicit Elvis-proportioned mania in their devoted listeners. Although the term ghazal comes from a Persian word meaning “to talk amorously to women,” in its qawwali form the love being proclaimed is a mystical devotion to God. Whatever Parveen is expressing, however, her extraordinary intensity and vocal dexterity (accompanied by the drones of harmonium and sarangi and the skittering beats of the tabla) is no mere Top 40 experience. At 7:30 p.m. at the Freer Gallery of Art’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th & Jefferson Drive SW. Free. (202) 357-3200. (Mark Jenkins)

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