Asad Ali Jafri is a cultural producer, global arts leader and interdisciplinary artist with a creative vision for sustainable social change. As an innovative thinker, Asad utilizes the universal language of art to connect communities, cultures and people to transform interactions, perceptions, and collective consciousness. Since 2001, Asad has worked passionately with artists, creatives, and thought leaders across nations, disciplines, and genres to curate meaningful productions, design sustainable initiatives, and build strong communities. Currently Asad is based in Honolulu, Hawaii at Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design as Curator of Programs.
As a cultural producer, Asad is the creative mind behind many festivals, concerts, events and productions. In 2013, Asad launched Sukoon Creative, a multifaceted arts and culture firm that focuses on actualizing new ideas and delivering innovative concepts in local and global markets. Until 2012, as Director of Arts and Culture for IMAN (Inner-city Muslim Action Network), Asad produced Takin’ It to the Streets: Urban International Festival and the Community Café series featuring hundreds of artists and attracting thousands of people.
As a global arts leader, Asad works closely with emerging and established artists on new opportunities for original work, developmental workshops, artist retreats and residencies, cultural exchanges, network building, and resource sharing. Asad has also worked with arts organizations, large and small, on specific projects in various roles. Some of these projects include Words Beats and Life's From Sifrs to Ciphers: Hip Hop is Muslim, New England Foundation for the Arts’ Center Stage, Art Midwest’s CaravanSerai, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston's Intersections, and the World Islamic Economic Forum's MOCAfest.
As an artist, Asad plays and blends soulful, spiritual, and, of course, funky music from around the globe as DJ Man-O-Wax. Asad also often directs and tours with a rotating group of performing artists and musicians using art and original productions to engage, educate, and inspire. One of Asad’s signature productions as an artist is Turntable Dhikr - a spiritual and visual sonic meditation on the Divine. Asad has performed and created as an artist across five continents.
But what makes Asad’s work unique and important is how he brings it all together through cultural organizing and creative placemaking. Asad engages, connects, and builds relationships amongst people wherever he goes. He facilitates holistic youth workshops, leadership programs for artists, and community dialogue sessions with the goal of creating positive and intergenerational transformation across physical, social, economic, and cultural barriers.
In short, Asad melds his passion for Art, Culture, Design, and Space to transform people, relationships, perceptions and communities.