NAPA’s International Festival bridges cultures through music

The first show of the academy’s yearly celebration kicked off yesterday

​ Our Correspondent March 06, 2020

KARACHI: The first show of the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) International Festival kicked off yesterday in the Zia Mohyeddin Theatre at 8:00 pm. The lead performers of the show included Nafees Ahmed, Ustad Shahbaz Hussain, Zayn Mohammed, and Ustad Bashir Khan.

Ahmed is the Head of the Music Department at NAPA and a virtuoso sitar player coming from an illustrious musical family. Whereas, Hussain is not just the UK’s leading tabla master, but also a globally recognised authority on the Delhi and Punjab Gharana (musical dynasties).

Mohammed on the other hand, was born in London and trained himself in various musical styles including Flamenco, Indian Classical and Turkish Classical. Influenced by his Godfather, the jazz pianist, Ahmad Jamal (Miles Davis’ biggest inspiration) – he also went on to study jazz guitar playing at the renowned Berklee College of music, Boston USA.

The evening of the performance witnessed cross-cultural musical explorations by musicians from Pakistan and England. Hussain and Mohammed contributed to the English part of the performance while Ahmed represented Pakistan.

The act focused on showcasing the skill of the three stellar musicians, with Khan making significant shifts in the music with his playing.

The vocalists included, Hannan Imran, Rayyan Charania, Sabeen Nawab, Zeeshan Zafar, Arsalan Ikhlaq, Shazaib Sajjad, Sarfaraz Samuel, Obaid Siddiqui and Ameer Ahmed. Whereas, Sarah Waqar, Amoon Das and Yusuf Bashir were the instrumentalists.

The festival will continue till March 22, 2020 and showcase performances from seven different countries. The year will feature performers from Italy, Germany, Bangladesh, Taiwan, England, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.  Various directors, both local and international, will be presenting a different play on each day with no particular theme.

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