Pakistani group to make debut in Capital Region – New York News




SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.>> Pakistan’s Sachal Ensemble is coming to the Capital Region on its first-ever U.S. tour.

The Sachal Ensemble is a group of traditional Pakistani musicians who will perform locally next month at Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s Spa Little Theatre, and at Proctors in Schenectady.

The ensemble was created by Izzat Majeed, a Pakistani investor and hedge fund manager turned philanthropist and music producer. Born in Lahore in 1950, it was Majeed’s singular dream to revive the soundtrack of his childhood.

Improbably, Sachal Ensemble had a breakthrough when a video of their interpretation of Brubeck’s Paul Desmond classic “Take Five” went viral. 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.


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The musicians’ extraordinary journey from Lahore to Lincoln Center is featured in a film called Song of Lahore film by Academy Award winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken.

Song of Lahore tells the story of the Sachal Ensemble – artists trying to survive under the oppression and brutality of modern day Pakistan. The film illustrates how their music-making not only brought inspiration to their lives, but literally sustained them in their struggles – and how, finally, they were discovered on YouTube and asked to perform at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

In one of the most poignant moments of the film, Nijat Ali, conductor of the Sachal…

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