NEW YORK – Pakistan will mark its Independence Day at the United Nations with a concert in the prestigious General Assembly hall on August 14.

Organised by the Pakistan Mission to the UN, the concert will feature the acclaimed Sachal Jazz Ensemble, whose music defines contemporary Pakistan – a blend of the traditional and the modern.

The hour-and-a-half long concert, titled ‘Music Beyond Borders’, is aimed at spreading the message of international peace and harmony at the world stage.

During the performance, Sachal, a brainchild of Izzat Majeed, will play their popular music which already has international familiarity.

The concert is expected to be attended by diplomats, UN officials, representatives of civil society, media and members of the Pakistani diaspora.

Sachal is regarded as an example of the creative genius that reflects Pakistan’s rich culture and heritage. The group’s fusion of traditional classical music with Western jazz has earned them the admiration of music fans and critics across the world.

Within days of the release of their first album, they shot to the top of the iTunes jazz charts.

The performance will include the famous “Shalimar” and the Ensemble’s internationally renowned cover of Dave Brubeck’s iconic “Take Five”, whose fresh re-working prompted the jazz legend to exclaim enthusiastically that it was the most interesting and different interpretation of the song that he had ever heard.

Sachal Jazz Ensemble has performed in various jazz festivals all over the world, including to a packed house at the Lincoln Centre.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Dr Maleeha Lodhi said the concert is an effort to project Pakistan’s soft image and present the country’s rich culture.

“Public diplomacy is the most effective way to win hearts and minds,” she said, adding that this aims to do just that.

This event is the latest in the series of cultural projects undertaken by Pakistan Mission in the last year since Dr. Lodhi assumed charge as ambassador to UN.

The Pakistan Mission, under her leadership, organised a “Sufi Night” at the UN General Assembly hall to mark Pakistan Day last year featuring Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

She also organized an Exhibition of Contemporary Art from Pakistan at the UN, which showcased some of the best works of art to demonstrate how Pakistan is becoming a powerhouse of creativity.

She was also instrumental in bringing the Lahore Literary Festival to the Asia Society in New York.-APP