Arif Lohar live in United States – America
A famous folk singer in Pakistan, Mr. Lohar is in the United States as part of Caravanserai, a tour bringing traditional Muslim performers to mainstream American audiences to share their artistic heritage and to challenge stereotypes. After stops throughout the Northeast and even Montana, the tour comes to Asia Society in Manhattan on Friday and Saturday.
“The mission of Caravanserai is very beautiful,” Mr. Lohar said. “I feel that it is very necessary at this critical time. It allows us to gather people together, using art as a bridge, to extend our hand in friendship to Americans, and to share our love and our wish for peace.”
Mr. Lohar sings Sufi music, a devotional style with centuries-old poetry that is layered with allegory, and performed with all the transcendent passion of a love epic. At home his performances can last six hours or more. His shows in the United States may be more conventionally structured but have still had their emotional moments. Last week in Helena, Mont., John Bohlinger, the bow-tied, septuagenarian lieutenant governor, danced onstage and grabbed a microphone to express his feelings.
“I don’t think there’s a person in the audience that understood a word of what you said,” Mr. Bohlinger told Mr. Lohar, as he recalled in a telephone interview this week. “But we understood in our heart what the message was. And the message was joy; the message was peace.”
Mr. Lohar absorbed Sufi music and the art of the chimta, a long percussive instrument like a pair of tongs, from his father, Alam Lohar, also a renowned singer. But he is no rigid traditionalist. Over his career — which has included some 150 albums and dozens of films — he has, like the Pakistani musical patriarch Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan before him, dabbled with pop sounds, including Bollywood-style song-and-dance, rock guitars and electronic beats. After his father, who died when Mr. Lohar was 13, and Mr. Khan, who died in 1997, Mr. Lohar lists Michael Jackson as one of his biggest influences.