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SPAC to screen Song of Lahore for upstate New York Community

Albany: October 27, 2017. (PCP) Ms Nasima Khan Director of Pashtun Cultural Institute have circulated a communication for upstate New York Community of South Asian, the need Art of Lahore to be live at SPCA.

The musicians of The Sachal Ensemble come from the Pakistani city of Lahore, for hundreds of years a thriving center of the arts on the Indian subcontinent. By the 1960s and '70s, Lahore was the home of "Lollywood," the Pakistani equivalent of India's Bollywood film production center. But in 1977, with the establishment of a conservative Islamic regime and Sharia law in Pakistan, most non-religious music was discouraged. Esteemed musicians were soon out of work, having to hide their instruments away to take jobs in coffee shops or driving rickshaws.

"We were losing our instruments, losing our musicians, losing our culture - something had to be done about it," said Sachal Ensemble producer Izzat Majeed. By the early 2000s, Majeed had convened a devoted group of surviving Lahore musicians to rehearse and record privately within his Sachal Studios - to revive their tradition, to keep it alive. They made recordings of classical and folk music at first, but with local listeners of the music having dwindled away, the group began to make music for a global audience outside of Pakistan.

In Partnership with Proctor's, Performance will be at the Spa Little Theater

About The Sachal Ensemble

Izzat Majeed, a Pakistani investor and hedge fund manager turned philanthropist and music producer, had been deeply influenced by American Jazz after hearing pianist Dave Brubeck perform when he was eight years old. Born in Lahore in 1950, it was Majeed's singular dream to revive the soundtrack of his childhood. In the 1960s and '70s, Lahore was at a peak as the home of "Lollywood," the Pakistani equivalent of India's Bollywood. But following a military coup in July 1977, dictatorship set out to "cleanse" Pakistan's cultural landscape. Most non-religious music was declared sinful and the film industry, weighed down by religious bans, collapsed. Despite these challenges, Majeed formed Sachal Studios, a place for traditional musicians and singers to perform. This musical haven also led to the creation of its offshoot, the Sachal Jazz Ensemble.

Improbably, Sachal Ensemble had a breakthrough when a video of their interpretation of Brubeck's Paul Desmond classic "Take Five" went viral. Brubeck, who died in December, 2012, actually got a chance to listen to it, calling it "the most interesting recording of it I have ever heard." The international sensation created by the video led to, among other things, an invitation in 2013 for the Sachal Ensemble to collaborate with trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

Audiences at Saratoga Performing Arts Center and Proctors will have the opportunity to experience the "sensation" for two one-night-only performances. Tickets for the performance at SPAC's Little Theatre start at $40.


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