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Dubai’s Khaleej Times calls Pakistani vocalist Abida Parveen “one of the popular artists of our time”; the Times of India dubs her “the nightingale from across the border.” This for an unglamorous woman who sings not pop or heavy metal but ghazels, traditional songs brought to the subcontinent from Persia in the 13th century, and kafi, the devotional music of Sufi mystics from the province of Sind, site of the earliest-known Indus Valley civilization. Parveen performs Friday at 8:30 p.m. at the University of Maryland Adult Education and Conference Center, University Blvd. & Adelphi Rd., College Park. $16-25. (301) 403-4240. (Mark Jenkins)