Oct 30, 2017

The Sachal Ensemble

Oct 30, 20177:00PM

Presented in Partnership with Proctor's

Performance will be at the Spa Little Theater

About The Sachal Ensemble

Izzat Majeed, a Pakistani investor and hedge fund manager turned philanthropist and music producer, had been deeply influenced by American Jazz after hearing pianist Dave Brubeck perform when he was eight years old. Born in Lahore in 1950, it was Majeed's singular dream to revive the soundtrack of his childhood. In the 1960s and '70s, Lahore was at a peak as the home of "Lollywood," the Pakistani equivalent of India's Bollywood. But following a military coup in July 1977, dictatorship set out to "cleanse" Pakistan's cultural landscape. Most non-religious music was declared sinful and the film industry, weighed down by religious bans, collapsed. Despite these challenges, Majeed formed Sachal Studios, a place for traditional musicians and singers to perform. This musical haven also led to the creation of its offshoot, the Sachal Jazz Ensemble.

Improbably, Sachal Ensemble had a breakthrough when a video of their interpretation of Brubeck's Paul Desmond classic "Take Five" went viral. Brubeck, who died in December, 2012, actually got a chance to listen to it, calling it "the most interesting recording of it I have ever heard." 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.

Audiences at Saratoga Performing Arts Center and Proctors will have the opportunity to experience the "sensation" for two one-night-only performances. Tickets for the performance at SPAC's Little Theatre start at $40.

In partnership with Proctor's, SPAC presents two screenings of the documentary Song of Lahore on Sunday, October 29, which inspired this performance. In addition to this performance on Monday, October 30, join Proctor's on Saturday, October 28 to see The Sachal Ensemble present Song of Lahore.