Center Stage is an organization that's fostering tolerance and cultural understanding by bringing International Artists into American communites for performances and audience engagement. Initiated by the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and produced by the New England Foundation for the Arts, two ensembles from Pakistan will tour the US in March and April 2017, with support from the US Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Making its US debut, Sounds of Kolachi is a 10-piece super group of vocalists and instrumentalists from Karachi who blur raga and Western harmony, counterpoint, and South Asian melodic lines, all without losing the groove. In this instantly listenable ensemble, South Asian classical instruments like the sitar and bowed sarangi are on equal footing with electric guitar and rock rhythm section. Guiding the journey, composer, theorist, and singer Ahsan Bari spins outrageous, bluesy, modal riffs, boosted by a quartet of male and female voices.
With compelling interpretations that draw deeply from one of the world's great music traditions, Sanam Marvi is Pakistan's next, inspiring diviner of South Asia's humanist, folk and Sufi texts. A vocal warrior for tolerance, spirituality and peace, this contemporary daughter of interior Sindh can urge with sweeping clarion calls or disarm with nuance.
Visit Sounds of Kolachi's and Sanam Marvi's OPK for tour details and audio samples, as well as Center Stage's website to learn more about their organizational mission.