The enthusiastic audience at Karachi’s National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) was clearly loving the Kentucky Winders — one of America’s top bluegrass bands. Led by Nikos Pappas (fiddle), the band includes Seth Folsom (banjo and guitar), Nick Lloyd (bass player) and Jesse Wells (guitar, banjo). The band is visiting Pakistan courtesy of the U.S. Consulate General Karachi.
Bluegrass is a genre of American country music that hails mostly from the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States. Traditional English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh music form the foundation, while African-American jazz also contributed greatly to its development.
“Visiting bands, such as these, bring people together,” said Mark Kendrick, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate General Karachi. “When we listen to each other’s music, we learn more about each other, and that is what our public diplomacy programs are all about.”
The U.S. Department of State has long been a generous supporter of artistic and cultural endeavors in Pakistan. It awarded $1 million to NAPA and the University of Texas, Austin’s (UTA) Butler School of Music to develop a three-year university partnership. The grant focuses on composition, instrumental and vocals as well as providing for student and faculty exchanges between the two institutions.
NAPA students and faculty travel to UTA for a six-month exchange to further develop their musicality, skill sets and exposure to other genres of music. In addition, UTA faculty members visit NAPA to conduct workshops and master classes with students.
For more information on U.S. cultural and educational programs and exchanges, please visit the following web site: www.eca.state.gov.