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August 2017

August 30, 2017
Cairo –The Center Stage music program, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, has selected three contemporary music ensembles from Egypt for month-long tours in the U.S. between July and December 2018.  Dina El Wedidi, Mohamed Abozekry & Karkadé, and Youssra El Hawary will bring their exceptional sounds to America and expand the global audience for these important Egyptian artists.

July 2017

July 11, 2017
On a warm April evening in New York, a Pakistani woman holds an audience captive at the Asia Society in the Upper East Side. Sitting cross-legged and barefoot on a red Persian rug, she leads a sama (an experiential Sufi ceremony celebrating God) accompanied by four male musicians playing the tabla, harmonium, sitar and dholak. The woman, Sanam Marvi, wears a black, red and gray shalwar kameez with a translucent red chiffon scarf draped across her body. Her loose medium-length black hair frames her face. Her only adornments are a silver watch, a gold bracelet, small studded hoop earrings and her voice — a rich, deep belting voice that ricochets off the walls of the small auditorium and pierces New York reserve.

May 2017

May 7, 2017
When I perform, I feel like there is no one in the hall. Every single time, I’m not there. I’m somewhere else. And I don’t know where that place is.” Sanam Marvi has just performed at the BAM Opera House in Brooklyn, New York. At some point during the performance one of the audience members yelled, ‘Sanam Marvi, you rock!’ prompting her to smile. The audience is composed of both South Asians and non-South Asians — people who don’t understand what she’s singing but have paid to see her perform anyway. Marvi has come a long way, from a little village near Dadu called Khairpur Nathanshah, Sindh, to where she is now.

April 2017

April 29, 2017
“This is the longest I’ve been away from my children,” said Sanam Marvi while trying to FaceTime with her husband back home in Lahore. I met her while she was on tour in the United States as a part of the programme called Center Stage. Pakistani singer Arieb Azhar is also travelling with her group as their ‘cultural interpreter’ although he performs with her on stage too.
April 18, 2017
Pakistani folklore Sufi singer Sanam Marvi enthralled audiences in New York with her singing at the Asia Society in New York. In an interview with Bernama shortly before her performance recently, she provided insights into her music and her interpretations of Sufism through her singing in Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi and Saraiki.
April 13, 2017
walked into the designated hotel room to find it kind of full — and the occupants were only half of the band. Singer, songwriter, composer and band leader Ahsan Bari was sitting on one corner of the floor. Next to him was backing vocalist and his right-hand band mate, Quaid Ahmed and facing them, on the bed, were Nimra Rafiq and Waqar Hussain. All four of them are part of a relatively-newer ensemble from Pakistan called Sounds of Kolachi. 
April 13, 2017
“I fill this earthen vessel with love for my Beloved / I fill this earthen vessel with love for my Lord / I fear only the wrath of Allah / I fear only the wrath of my Lord” — “Mahi Yaar Di Gharoli” by Sachal Sarmast, Bulleh Shah and Shah Hussain Sanam Marvi, renowned singer of Pakistan and South Asia, performs many poems like "Mahi Yaar Di Gharoli" in the native languages of her country. Trained in Sufi and folk music, her voice captivates audiences with her chillingly hypnotic and beautiful tones. Generally, Marvi performs for Pakistani and South Asian audiences, where she is in high demand. However, she decided to return to the United States for her fourth tour.  
April 5, 2017
SANAM MARVI is a vocal warrior. One of the most famous performers in the Sufi, ghazal and folk genres, the Pakistani singer has been earning awards and garnering countless fans since her debut in 2009. Since she was seven, Marvi has honed the art of singing Sufi poetry in the traditional qawwali style and uses her fame to spread peace, love, and spirituality to people of all walks of life.

March 2017

March 29, 2017
One summer evening at Motorco in 2014, what seemed like a typical midlevel rock show had actually come about through exceptional efforts. The headlining act was Poor Rich Boy, a Pakistani ensemble on its first U.S. tour. The tour was made possible by Center Stage, a program funded through the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It helps international artists untangle the web of financial and logistical barriers they must face to tour in the States.

February 2017

February 28, 2017
The 10-piece ensemble unit, having developed an excellent reputation for their exceedingly original concerts, has been playing shows for nearly three years now and late last month, held a show in Karachi in which they played material from their new album. Apart from emerging at the peace jam in Sehwan Sharif alongside Ali Gul Pir this weekend, the band is also gearing up to play shows across the United States next month, courtesy of Center Stage...
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