Sangat concludes with fusion of US, Pakistani music

Published August 29, 2015
Akhtar Chanal and Abdul Haq performing with the Kentucky Winders at Napa on Friday night.—White Star
Akhtar Chanal and Abdul Haq performing with the Kentucky Winders at Napa on Friday night.—White Star

KARACHI: “Who would have thought that the double bass and sitar could go so well together,” said Saim Saeed, an audience member at Sangat, a programme held at the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) in collaboration with the US consulate, on Friday evening.

The day-two event was organised to bridge cultures of the two countries through music.

Nafees Ahmed, the head of the music department at Napa, had invited musicians from across the country, including Akhar Chanal from Balochistan, while the US consulate had invited the Kentucky Winders, a bluegrass band, to perform together.

The show started with a short set performed by Sindhi folk musicians.

Akhtar Chanal and Abdul Haq came up next, enthralling the audience with a traditional Balochi dance and Chanal’s popular hit, Danah pe Danah.

The Kentucky Winders came up next to explain to the audience what sort of music they were going to play.

With Seth Folsom on the banjo, Nikos Pappas on the fiddle, Nick Lloyd and Jesse Wells on the bass and guitar, the audience heard the Tennessee Mountain Fox Chase, Milwaukee Blues, Curly Headed Woman and All Night Long.

Bluegrass is a genre of American country music that hails mostly from the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States. Traditional English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh music form the foundation, while African-American jazz also contributed greatly to its development.

The last set of the night was when the Kentucky Winders, Akhtar Chanal, Sindhi folk musicians, Mr Ahmed and students of Napa got together on stage to perform Lal Meri Pat, a popular folk tune along with patriotic songs, including Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan and Yeh Watan Humara Hai. The fusion of east and west, according to another audience member, was fantastic and full of energy.

Talking to Dawn before the show, Mr Chanal said the fusion of different genres of music would be a treat for everyone.

Mr Folsom from the Kentucky Winders said he was looking forward to performing at Napa after the band’s successful performance in Jamshoro on Thursday.

Mr Pappas said the band had been rehearsing with the folk musicians all week and were looking forward to performing at Napa. After a few rehearsals everyone was comfortable with the fusion, he added.

According to Mr Ahmed, the last set of the evening was one of his favourites as it brought the entire show together with folk artists, students and the Kentucky Winders.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2015

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