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Pakistani Jazz Fusion and the USIS

November 16, 2011

One of the more intriguing records that JazzFM has been playing over the last few months has been The Sachal Studios Orchestra version of the Paul Desmond classic Take Five – the video is here

The orchestra is project by the Pakistani businessman Izzat Majeed to bring together musicians who have been put out of work by the decline of the Pakistani film industry. On the sleeve notes of the CD he writes ‘I was ten years old when I first heard Take Five in Lahore courtesy of the music centre of the United States Information Service.’

So this looks like a double cultural diplomacy success,  firstly the USIS in getting the young Majeed interested in American music and secondly, for Majeed in generating some interest in Pakistan that doesn’t involve the usual topics.

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One comment

  1. Thank you for that, Robin.

    This is a long stretch, but we are talking about music and I just stumbled upon this… An article dealing with music in Alexander the Great’s world (it is in French, but Google translate will help if needed).

    http://www.rue89.com/2011/11/22/quelle-musique-ecoutait-sous-alexandre-le-grand-226768

    Something interesting from our point of view:

    “Cette « politique culturelle » est aussi un message envoyé aux cités grecques du Sud. Celles-ci méprisent les « barbares » du Nord et considèrent ses voisins, férus de banquets orgiaques comme des êtres grossiers, violents et inconstants.
    La Macédoine, leur rétorque Alexandre, n’a rien à envier à personne en matière de raffinement. Le roi a été éduqué par Aristote en personne. Il compte l’immense Apelle comme peintre officiel et peut se vanter d’entretenir des musiciens de grand renom.”

    Alexander, as it seems, used the arts (music, painting, etc) and the artistic decorum surrounding his 324 bc. wedding to Darius’ daughter for political purposes. Especially, he wished to project a “civilized” image to Southern-Greek cities and to other Mediterranean powers.

    Sorry for this digression.



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