Joy of Independence: Instrumentalists turn out their best

Traditional rhythms bring joy to the audience at PNCA as crowds sway to Sufi music at RAC


APP August 07, 2017
Artistes perform at PNCA. Photos: Express

ISLAMABAD: The diversity of Pakistani tunes and rhythm merged together symbolises the cultural identity of the country. This was duly witnessed at the Instrumental Music Night on the second day of the National Music Festival being held by Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) to mark the 70th Independence Day of Pakistan.

All the leading and representative instrumentalists from across the country enthralled the jam-packed house on Saturday night. The musicians played soul-stirring tunes to captivate the audience.

Every other minute the hall reverberated with spontaneous applause to appreciate the maestros for playing with the strings of sitar, sarinda, siroad, violin, rabab and the rhythms of tabla, a pair of two small drums played together, and enchanting melodies on alghoza, a combination of two flutes, that is one of the traditional music instruments of the Sindh province, and finally the thrilling performance of dhol, the identity of the Punjabi culture.

Played by the finest Pakistani violinist Raees Ahmed, the old Urdu melodies on violin were the main attraction of the show.

Sajid Hussain from Karachi showed his skills in sitar as the tunes penetrated into the souls of the listeners. Ejaz Sarhadi opened the show with ever contemporary music compositions of Pashtuns from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. He is the son of great Sarinda player Nemat Sarhadi who gave a new life to this instrument from the tribal belt of Pakistan.



The Sindh province is the land of saints and Sufis that appreciates and promotes the traditional culture where the folk music is embedded with the affection and love of dhamaal and qawali. Though it is not associated with the musical rendering in and around shrines and tombs, it is considered as the identity of the Indus territory.

Akbar Khameesoo Khan, the son of alghoza maestro, Khameeso Khan, performed to prove he has kept the tradition alive.

Rabab is another key music instrument from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Ghulab Khel who is a Khattak dancer, singer and musician is carrying the tradition very well. His performance on rabab on the beat of tabla, played by Ejaz Jajji, was one of the main attractions.

The Balochi music was represented by a team of instrumentalists led by a popular siroad player Sachoo Khan. The best of Balochi music was played on the rhythm of tabla by Ejaz Jajji who also accompanied the maestro of tabla playing Ustad Muhammad Ajmal Khan. Ajmal’s skills and mastery on tabla is simply unmatchable.

Shahnai is the instrument from South Punjab that is usually played on the happy occasions such as wedding and on other celebrative events. Ejaz Hussain from Multan was accompanied by Khizar Abbas on naqqara and other instruments to giver beat to the compositions being played on shahnai.



Dhol has ever been the best for a big shout out of the joy. Shaukat Ali Sheikh from Hafizabad, a town in the district Gujranwala, mesmerised the audience with unique and thrilling performance. Soul-stirring performances enthrall audience at RAC

As part of the Independence Day celebrations, a sufi musical event was organised at the Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC).

Sufi singers who took part in the event included Qurban Niazi, Ghulam Abbas Farasat, Maria Kanwal and Aqdas Hashmi, while Masud Khuwaja moderated the event.

A Lahore-based singer Ghulam Abbas Pirzada kicked off the event by singing a national song, composed and written by him. His rendition was followed by Maria Kanwal, a blind singer from Rawalpindi, who enthralled the audience with her performance. Qurban Niazi, wearing a traditional dress, treated the audience to some renditions of devotional mystic songs and gathered praise for his performance.

Punjab Assembly members, Raja Muhammad Hanif and Lubna Rehan, were among guests.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2017.

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