Guitarist & composer Dr Aziz Ibrahim (h.c.), founder of the ‘Desi GuitR’ & the ‘Asian Blues’ is currently an experimental solo digital artist working in the Arts sector, lead guitar with the Pakistani band ‘Overload’ and the EDM collective ‘Fret Sector’ as well as still playing an active role in the mainstream music industry.
Ibrahim is known for his role & work as lead guitarist for Simply Red, The Stone Roses and several internationally acclaimed bands and artists including Ian Brown, Paul Weller, Steven Wilson, Asia, Rebel MC & Errol Brown (Hot Chocolate). Aziz has worked in many genres of music including recording or performing with reggae artists Dennis Brown, Barrington Levi & Freddy McGregor.
His solo works include his acclaimed album telling the story of his family’s journey from Lahore To Longsight‘ , the EP ‘Middle Road‘ , and album ‘Rusholme Rock with Tabla master Dalbir Singh Rattan’, all showcasing his unique blend of progressive rock and Asian Blues.
Aziz also works outside the field of contemporary popular music having recently composed a South Asian symphony for the Manchester Camerata Orchestra on a hugely successful project “Lahore to Longsight” which sold out ‘Home Manchester’ Theatre 1.
A passionate supporter of music education initiatives, The British Council selected Aziz to tour and lecture in Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Morocco, Jerusalem, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh for several years, performing live and delivering lectures to young people and students from Universities and Colleges.
His expertise has also been featured in The BBC’s Introducing Musicians Masterclass series, also currently serving as an advisor and mentor for University of Central Lancashire’s music program and as a member of the UCLan CCG (Creative Communities Group).
Ibrahim‘s commitment to ‘social responsibility’ includes guitar lessons and mentoring sessions for prisoners in a reintegration program HMP Risley, providing Music Therapy for hospice patients at Keech and mentoring young people for the Lancashire ‘Hope Streets’ initiative.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth recognised Ibrahim’s contributions to Great Britain’s economy, culture, and the music industry in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2005 along with Brian May, Jeff Beck, the Bee Gees & many others. He is also a recipient of the UK Jinnah award, for outstanding achievement in music presented to him at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
After working closely with The University Of Salford 2018 Aziz Ibrahim was awarded ‘Doctor of Arts‘ honoris causa in recognition of his work in music, culture, equality and as a role model to many working class young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Ibrahim recently completed his third successful Arts Council England project. Developing that work further to contribute to the UK’s understanding of the musical instruments of South Asia and the influence they have on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation British South Asian creative practitioners and to contribute to the conversation on how national museums, libraries and art galleries work with digital technologies and contemporary artists from black and minority ethnic communities. Currently Aziz is part of the South Asian Gallery collective working on co-curation for the launch of the South Asian Wing of Manchester Museum and also closely working with Lancashire County Council’s Heritage & Learning team on several projects involving museums, libraries, galleries and schools.