Saturday 23 March 09:00pm

Pan Asia Sounding Festival

Ali Sethi and his Lahore band

8pm doors • 9pm show


The Pan Asia Sounding festival offers a fresh perspective on a vibrant continent with groundbreaking performances that focus on the ever-evolving present and future of Asian music and art. Too often, Western presentations of Asian artists focus exclusively on ancient cultural traditions. Curated by Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Du Yun, the Pan Asia Sounding festival explodes this biased lens by presenting new works on the cutting edge of contemporary performance.

The festival concludes with a performance by Ali Sethi and his Lahore band. Sethi offers a contemporary take on lyric poems that draw on the mystical metaphors of Sufism to convey erotic, political, and spiritual messages. Fusing Persian, Arabic, Turkish, and Indian musical traditions, these verses have been used for centuries to challenge social norms and upend gender binaries, and have ultimately served to bring their listeners closer to the divine. Recognized with several Lux Style nominations in his native Pakistan, singer-songwriter Sethi studied under Ustad Naseeruddin Saami, one of the greatest living exponents of Pakistani classical music; and with Farida Khanum, the greatest living exponent of “semi-classical” ghazal singing. Don’t miss this evening of singular subversive power!

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.