Clockwise from left: Fok singers Anwer Khayal, Qurban Niazi, Naeemul Hassan and Laila Jatti perform at the Music Mela at the PNCA on Friday. — Photos by Tanveer Shahzad
Clockwise from left: Fok singers Anwer Khayal, Qurban Niazi, Naeemul Hassan and Laila Jatti perform at the Music Mela at the PNCA on Friday. — Photos by Tanveer Shahzad

ISLAMABAD: A week-long National Music Mela opened at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on Friday night.

The organisers said the mela would brighten the future of folk music in Pakistan. It is an endeavour by the PNCA to revive old folk music by using its vast national platform in bridging the gap between music lovers and old music maestros.

The festival will also promote cultural activities termed necessary for peaceful coexistence in society.

“The genuine root of culture is folk music,” said PNCA Director General Jamal Shah.

He said folk music was the most intimate expression in people’s lives, which should be nurtured and respected.

PNCA placed music as the most important discipline of art and promoted it, he said, adding that maximum efforts were being made in preservation, promotion and development of performing and visual arts and artists.

The seven-day festival boasts of some of the best classical, pop/modern, ghazal, movie soundtracks and qawwali and Sufi acts.

Folk singer from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Zarsanga enthralled audience. She also performed the famous Da Bangriwal Pa Choli Ma Za, her only song on radio.

Also mesmerising the audience was Fazal Jatt from Punjab known for his rendition of traditional Punjabi folklores and Bhangra.

Another folk singer was Akhtar Channa from Balochistan, who captivated the audience with his song Dana Pa Dana.

Maseet Gul, Nasir Ali, Asma Rajput, Raja Imran, Qurban Ali Niazi, Laila Jatti, Anwar Khayal and Naeemul Hassan Babloo also performed at the opening night.

“We are looking forward to some of the best performances, especially from our favourite singers who we hear only on TV,” said Mohammad Faisal, a fan of folk music.

Describing the music mela a must visit place over the weekend, Fiza Ahmed said she had asked all her friends to join her for the live performances.

“We will make this show a success,” she said.

The mela will also feature Sain Zahoor, Saira Naseem Humera Channa and Jia Nauman.

The event will continue till April 25.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2019