Blue Deer Center News

Posted September 6, 2011

Ustad (Professor) Ghulam Farid Nizami is of the Senia Gharana tradition and is a descendant of Mian Tan Sen, court musician of 16th century Moghal Emperor Akbar the Great. He apprenticed with his father, Ustad Ishaq Nizami beginning at the age of 4 years. After his father’s death, he continued his studies with his elder brother Ustad Mohammad Akhtar Nizami as well as other esteemed Pakistani music maestros in sitar, vocals, tabla and harmonium. He received instruction in the tradition of Sufism from Khawaja Mohammad Moeen Khan Nizami and Haji Faiz Ahmed.

Ustad Nizami created and hosted several educational television shows on Pakistan TV that featured the traditional music of North Pakistan, and has made innumerable radio and television appearances. He has worked extensively with the Folklore Museum at Lok Virsa in Islamabad and performed widely for the Pakistani National Council for the Arts for over 25 years. He has performed for all Pakistani heads of State as well as for a long list of foreign dignitaries, including 3 US presidents, Saudi King Abdullah, Jordani King Hussein, Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana.

In over 30 years of teaching at Pakistani educational and performing arts institutions, including 14 years at the Beacon House School, Nizami has helped to create a new generation of musicians. Among his students are the first professional female tabla and sitar players in Pakistan. In 2008 he came to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar and taught at The University of Texas in Austin from ‘08- ‘09.

[Excerpted from]

VideoUstad Ghulam Farid Nizami
will enchant listeners with“The Music of Life”

at the Alignment Center in New York City
on Tuesday, September 20th, 7-9

Join Ustad Nizami and Melissa Clare at the Blue Deer Center this month:

VideoWatch video

September 23 – 25

The Music of Life

An Exploration of Healing in the Sufi Tradition

with Ustad Ghulam Farid Nizami &
Melissa Clare

Learn more

A limited number of half scholarships have been made available for this program. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, send an email request with the subject line “Music of Life Scholarship” to Melissa Rudder at centerdirector [at] bluedeer [dot] org

Posted September 6, 2011


The BDC has recently received the highest rating status by GuideStar - GuideStar Exchange Seal.

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At the BDC, we work to remain as transparent as possible to our supporters. The many steps to receiving this level of certification by GuideStar is part of our commitment to service and represents a year of hard work.

Please follow this link to GuideStar. From there, you can link us to your friends via Facebook or Twitter, or write a review to share with the world how the BDC has been part of your life.

Posted September 6, 2011

We are delighted to welcome Mayan Daykeeper OmeAkaEhekatl Erick Gonzalez to the Blue Deer Center in 2012, when he will be offering a journey through some teachings from the Mayan tradition on subjects ranging from finding light in the darkness and living from the heart to how to endure the purification process of our era while opening to the flowering of the soul. His program will be April 27th to 29th, and will include a Mayan Fire ceremony.

OmeAkaEhekatl Erick Gonzalez was born in Guatemala and moved to the U.S. with his parents when he was 11 years old. In 1978 he was adopted by the Mexiko Teotlkalli Kalpull Koatlkalko and the teacher Tlakaelel and given the name OmeAkaEhekatl in 1978. He was made an Aj Q'ij (Mayan Spiritual Guide and Daykeeper) in 1994 with the Great Confederation of AjQ'ijab of the Original Peoples of Guatemala and received his bundle through the teacher Apolinario Chile Pixtun. In 2005, he was also adopted into the Ts'aalth Clan, the five finned killer whale people of the Eagle Clan of the Haida, and given the name Gaada, meaning supernatural light.

Erick is a member and representative of various councils of Indigenous elders, youth, and spiritual guides. He is the Founder and Spiritual Leader of Tinamit Junan Uleu - Earth Peoples United, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity church dedicated to preserving indigenous wisdom and traditional practices, and renewing our custodial relationship with the Mother Earth and all her Beings.

OmeAkaEhekatl is working to create two models of spiritual land stewardship: one in Guatemala on the shores of Lake Atitlan, and one north of Mt. Shasta in Northern California. These are being created to demonstrate how to live in harmony with and appreciate the natural and spiritual worlds, restore land and create natural food and medicine gardens, and be places for indigenous wisdom keepers to come together to share their wisdom and ceremonies.


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