American band “Grupo Fantasma” performs for thousands at Music Mela

American band Grupo Fantasma introduced their signature sound of Latin funk music to more than 3,000 people last night at Music Mela. Their performance, organized by the Foundation for Arts and Culture (FACE) and hosted by the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA), was part of the band’s three-city tour to Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore. The Grammy-award winning group played a 30-minute set featuring original songs in English and Spanish.

Commenting on their performance, Grupo Fantasma’s guitar player and founding member Beto Martinez said, “This is our first time in Pakistan. We were thrilled to perform at Music Mela and share our music with such an amazing crowd. Their energy was unbelievable! I’m proud that we helped bring Americans and Pakistanis together through this show.”

Prior to their Music Mela performance, the band performed at Lok Virsa for more than 100 students from SOS village, Sweet Homes, Mashal School, and Sir Syed College on Thursday, April 21.

Grupo Fantasma is a nine-piece musical collective formed in 2000 in Austin, Texas. The band has performed at major festivals and venues internationally, including: Bonnaroo, The Kennedy Center, London’s O2 Arena, The Montreal Jazz Festival, and South by Southwest (SXSW). They have been praised as one of music’s most important and unique independent Latin genre acts to come out of the United States in the last decade.

The U.S. Embassy gives over 100 million rupees annually to support arts programming in Pakistan. Each year, with U.S. government support, dozens of Pakistani musicians participate in programs like the Pakistani Showcase at South-by-Southwest Music Festival, the Dosti Music Project, and Daniel Pearl World Music Days.

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