Islamabad, April 21, 2016
American band Grupo Fantasma introduced Latin funk music to 125 high school and university students from across Islamabad during their live performance at Lok Virsa on Thursday. The concert, sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in partnership with the Foundation for Arts and Culture (FACE), was part of the band’s three-city tour to Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore. The Grammy-award winning group played a 75-minute set featuring original songs in English and Spanish.
“Music is an essential tool to connect people across cultures and between countries. In Grupo Fantasma’s music, we hear influences from across the world, including South Asia. Their music is a great example of how music adapts and absorbs influences from other cultures. It’s a perfect reflection of American culture, which also blends traditions from all over the world,” U.S. Embassy Islamabad’s Cultural Attaché Dr. Daniel Mattern told the students.
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.