U.S. Consulate General Connects Peshawar to America through Jazz

U.S. Consul General William Martin welcomed a performance by the Ari Roland Jazz Quartet in Islamabad on February 23 for Peshawar’s politicians, educators, business people, members of civil society, and alumni of U.S.-Pakistan exchange programs.

“Jazz is uniquely American and we are delighted to share this aspect of our culture with our Pakistani friends.  The United States is proud to work in partnership with Pakistan to achieve shared goals,” said Jeff Sexton, Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy and the host of the evening’s event.

Noting KP/FATA is a key area of engagement for the United States, Mr. Sexton added, “Since 2009, the United States has spent over $1 billion on civilian assistance to FATA alone.”

The U.S. Mission in Pakistan includes one of the largest civilian assistance programs in the world.  In addition to supporting projects in education, health, and infrastructure, the U.S. Agency for International Development is also reconstructing cross-border trade routes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

The New York-based quartet features Ari Roland on the bass, Keith Balla on percussion, Chris Byars on tenor saxophone, and Zaid Nasser on alto saxophone.  The group’s performance included pieces by American jazz legends like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Billie Holiday, as well their own critically acclaimed original compositions and new music influenced by Pakistan’s rich cultural traditions.  Tuesday’s concert was part of a country-wide tour sponsored by the U.S. Mission to Pakistan to deepen understanding between the people of both countries.