Song of Lahore
Song of Lahore is an inspiring documentary about the Sachal Jazz Ensemble, a talented group of musicians from Pakistan. Released in 2015, this documentary follows the musicians as they travel across the world from Lahore, Pakistan, to New York City, and collaborate with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Despite intense language and cultural barriers, the harmonies born from this unique alliance continue to stun audiences in a monumental way. The documentary, directed by Oscar- and Academy Award-winning Pakistani journalist and Stanford graduate Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, was screened on campus at Cantor Arts Center on Wednesday, November 8th. The screening was followed by an intimate Q&A with executive producer David Waechter.
The following Wednesday, November 15th, the Sachal Jazz Ensemble actually performed at Bing Amphitheater. The performance was truly riveting, and witnessing and hearing the musicians in-person rather than on-screen was a special experience. For two hours, the musicians poured their hearts out, and after every solo, the tabla (drum) player raised his hand up to the audience, humbly thanking them for their appreciation. Maeve Givens, Class of 2020 at Stanford, especially enjoyed the ensemble’s rendering of Pink Panther, while Erica Scott, another Class of 2020 student, had the ensemble’s unique version of Take 5, a classic Jazz piece, stuck in her head for the rest of the week. The Sachal Jazz Ensemble is still in the midst of their tour, and we could not be more thankful that they took the time to perform on Stanford’s campus.