A quick chat and song with Pakistani folk musicians Arif Lohar and Arooj Aftab

(Click audio player for full interview)

Musicians Arooj Aftab and Arif Lohar (center) pose with their band and Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce outside his office in the Capitol Building Tuesday

A group of renowned folk musicians from Pakistan are visiting Helena this week, spreading a message of peace.

Lead singer Arif Lohar has been to the U.S. many times during his long career, but always to major metropolitan areas.His current U.S. tour is taking his traditional Pakistani tunes to smaller communities. Helena is the last stop on a tour that has included towns in Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, and Northern New Hampshire.

Female Pakistani vocalist Arooj Aftab is joining Lohar on the tour. Western Media often focuses on Pakistan through the lens of the War on Terror. Aftab says the musicians hope their tour shows another side of her country.

“To create a positive visibility of Pakistan, and more visibility of the arts and culture because it’s beautiful and very rich,” she said.

The group has performed for elementary school students and Carroll College so far this week. They will also perform tomorrow night (Thursday night) at Helena’s Myrna Loy Theatre. That show begins at 7:30.

Watch the group perform at Jefferson Elementary School earlier this week in this video recorded by the Helena Independent Record.

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