Ties that bind: US Consulate hopes to overcome distances with music

Upcoming singer Natasha Ejaz, Chand Tara Orchestra performs at PACC.

Natasha Ejaz sing their hearts out at a concert, ‘Building bridges through music’, organised by the US Consulate General at Pak-American Cultural Centre on Monday. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Upcoming artist Natasha Ejaz had the audience swaying to the beat of her song the minute she stepped on to the stage with ‘Today is the place’, during a concert organised by the US Consulate at the Pak-American Cultural Centre (PACC) on Monday.

Pakistani and American flags had been put up at the corners of the stage to emphasise the theme of ‘Building bridges through music’. Ejaz started off the concert by performing a number of songs from her collection, including ‘Love is a bird’. She also performed one of her new songs, ‘Hum bhagay’ [We Ran]. Chand Tara Orchestra then took to the stage and held the audience enthralled during their 30-minute-long performance.

The band’s guitarist, Babar Sheikh, introduced the band as one that believed “that music was the land of the moon and the stars”. He added that the band had tried to combine music of the 70’s and 80’s with contemporary music. During the half hour allotted to them, they chose to sing a number of eminent Sufi songs, including one sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, ‘Na kar bandeya meri meri’.

Before the event, four members of New England Foundation of the arts, Sarah Long, Deidre Valente, Robert Richter and Brian Jose, gave a short talk on a programme launched by the US State Department, ‘Centre Stage’, which brought artists from various countries together. The spokesperson of the US Consulate, Richard Silver, moderated the talk. Valente, who met some of Pakistani artists, spoke about the diversity of talent in Pakistan. She described singer Arieb Azhar as a “human ipod shuffle”.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2013.


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