Sachal Ensemble

WHEN:
VENUE:
Bing Concert Hall
Configuration: End Stage



Call Box Office: 650.724.2464

The Golden Era of “Lollywood” in Lahore, Pakistan, peaked in the 1960s and 70s, until the enforcement of Islamic Sharia law in 1977 led to a steep decline in the arts. As work dried up for studio musicians, producer Izzat Majeed secretly gathered these intrepid players at his Sachal Studios, where they recorded a hit version of Dave Brubeck’s iconic “Take Five”—with a South Asian twist. Wynton Marsalis invited the Sachal Ensemble to perform with his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, leading to an album, an acclaimed documentary (directed by Stanford alums Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken), and invitations to perform around the world.


In conjunction with the performance, Stanford Live will be screening the documentary Song of Lahore. Date and time will be announced in the fall.

Video

After seeing the brilliant documentary, I was struck by two things that are important to consider at this moment: how soft power— like the State Department’s Jazz Ambassadors program— was used in the late 1960s to mitigate international perceptions of racial division and inequality. And how the Lahore musicians’ sometimes frustrating rehearsals with Jazz at Lincoln Center can be seen as metaphor for the immigrant experience, an often challenging transition into the melting pot.

 

—Chris Lorway, Executive Director