Since beginning their US tour from late March, music group Sounds of Kolachi and Sufi kalaam singing heavyweight Sanam Marvi, accompanied by the versatile Arieb Azhar, have done a brilliant job of representing Pakistan abroad. Not only did they present absolutely gorgeous music to the American audience but they did it with a lot of integrity, skill and heart.
During this stretch of the tour, Sounds of Kolachi ran into Aaroh’s legendary vocalist, Farooq Ahmed in New York, who is on the comeback trail with his band now that Pepsi Battle of the Bands is coming back. Similarly, in another instance, one fan who witnessed SOK play at Joe’s Pub in New York dubbed its leader Ahsan Bari “the Led Zeppelin of Pakistan”.
In another instance, Sounds of Kolachi conducted a workshop with students at Pinkerton Academy as Bari gave students “a crash course in classical Indian music theory” and other musical matters.
Meanwhile, Sanam Marvi, joined by Arieb Azhar not only marveled fans with her reinterpretation of Sufi traditions but also gave some very thoughtful interviews.
Though their tours began separately - Sounds of Kolachi opened their journey with shows in Washington while Marvi and Azhar opened theirs with a show in Connecticut – the tour ended in collaborative fashion as Marvi, Azhar and Sounds of Kolachi joint forces for what was dubbed “a rousing finale” at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. It was a fitting finale in many ways and included a captivating dhamaal, the video of which can be found online.
– Maheen Sabeeh