Music show celebrates traditional, contemporary Urdu songs

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Musician Sajjad Haider performs at a musical evening on Friday night. He was accompanied by Zeeshan Saleem on the tabla, Ihtsham Saleem on the violin, Ali Haider on keyboard, Azeem Amar on drums, Wahab Kamran on the Pipe Organ and Hafeez Nizami on guitar. — White Star
Musician Sajjad Haider performs at a musical evening on Friday night. He was accompanied by Zeeshan Saleem on the tabla, Ihtsham Saleem on the violin, Ali Haider on keyboard, Azeem Amar on drums, Wahab Kamran on the Pipe Organ and Hafeez Nizami on guitar. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: Sarangi, a music initiative by Serena Hotels, hosted an evening of music by Sajjad Haider, a young musician from Faisalabad who was also one of the top three musicians in the Sarangi Season 2 competition.

The evening was replete with attention to detail as guests sat on white sheets leaning against traditional gaao takiyas or on diwaans, silver trays with bowls of saunf and paan peppered the arrangements.

Sajjad Haider’s melodic voice did justice to an assortment of classic songs, some that were his own selections while others were requests from the audience. Old favourites including Kabhi kabhi meray dil mein khayal aata hai, Honton se chu lo tum, Aik pyar ka naghma hai, Jab koi baat bigar jaaye, Tujh se naaraaz nahin ye zindagi hairan hun mein, Kya hua tera waada, Pehla nasha pehla khumaar, and others were interspersed with newer songs such as Atif Aslam’s Kachi doriyon doriyon doriyon se and Ali Hamza’s Paarchanaa de.

“I searched for these songs and my mother was a lot of help. She had a lot of suggestions for what songs I should sing. I usually sing pop or classical but I knew quite a few of these songs. My favourite was Tujh se naaraaz. I have just completed my degree in Education and Research and it has been difficult pursuing my music alongside my studies,” Sajjad Haider said.

A guest at the event, Arbab Jamshed said: “It gives a positive image of the country and the talent. It is a good initiative but I think it has to be much broader as there is a promotion of culture.”

Another guest, Samina Siraj said: “I really enjoyed the music. The best way to hear this sort of music is to sit in a peaceful environment and let the melodies transport you”.

Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan Erik Beishembiev presented an award to Sajjad, and said: “I really enjoyed myself. Thank you so much for the music. You know, during the Soviet era we actually heard a lot of this sort of music and I greatly appreciate having been invited to listen to this performance.”

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2018