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Qawwali with a French Touch

ISLAMABAD: With the support of the Embassy of France here, the Alliance Française de Lahore, the Institute for Art and Culture, and the Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, French and Pakistani musicians will participate in a residency in Lahore to produce fusion music bringing together qawwali melodies and electronic music with a French touch.

They will give three live performances in Lahore and Islamabad on 27th, 28th and 29th May 2022. After two years of pandemic, artists can finally be back on the stage all around the world.

Markus and Shahzad SantooMarkus and Shahzad SantooMarkus and Shahzad Santoo

French oud player Markus and electronic musician Xavier Pourcher met Pakistani singer and
musician Shahzad Santoo Khan based in Lahore by chance on social media around 6 years ago.

A few trips between France and Pakistan sealed their fruitful collaboration under the name
“Markus & Shahzad”, which led to the release of their two albums Janna Aana and Tumba!.

Santoo Meets Alright Mela is a new musical collaboration bringing together the three musicians and Shahzad Santoo’s qawwali ensemble. This will be the musicians’ third tour in Pakistan.

Markus and Shahzad Santoo

Qawwali melodies have nothing to envy to the greatest electronic hits. The powerful rhythms created by the tablas and the claps of the choristers transcend the listeners. Santoo meets Alright Mela will give a platform for the artists from the cities of Lahore and Angers to blend their talents in a bewitching fusion, where uplifting electronic music with a French touch and qawwali music intertwine ingeniously, and embark with the listeners on a journey filled with mutual discoveries and surprises.

Markus and Shahzad Santoo  The audience will get the chance to witness this authentic encounter between Pakistani, Oriental and Western musical cultures within the tracks but also throughout the whole concert.

Santoo Meets Alright Mela will create a space where each culture is celebrated in its own singularity.

Santoo Meets Alright Mela will start their collaboration with a creation residency at the Institute for Art and Culture in Lahore from May 23rd to 27th, followed by three live performances in Lahore and Islamabad.

Markus and Shahzad Santoo

Practical Details:
Friday 27th May, 7:30pm: Live Performance at Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, Lahore.
Saturday 28th May: Live performance at the Heritage Live concert at Lok Virsa Heritage
Museum, a concert jointly organised by the European Network of Institutes of Culture
and Face Foundation, Islamabad.
Sunday 29/05, 6:30pm: Live performance at Heritage Live’s second concert at Institute
for Art and Culture, Lahore.

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.