International singing star Arif Lohar to wrap cultural series

A Campus Center arena concert will bring internationally known Pakistani singers Arif Lohar and Arooj Aftab to SUNY Oswego at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 11.

The concert pairs musicians of two generations who share a goal of building bridges in a show wrapping Caravanserai, the yearlong exploration of Pakistani arts and culture at SUNY Oswego.

Arif Lohar’s exuberant renditions of traditional Punjabi songs have been heard from London’s Wembley Arena to the opening ceremonies of the Asian Games in China. Billed as one of Pakistan’s most treasured singers, he brings a personal style that crosses barriers of language and culture for enthusiastic audiences around the globe.

Arif Lohar performsLohar (pictured) works tirelessly as an ambassador for the musical heritage of Pakistan. He describes his many international tours as a way of “shaking hands with the world.” Onstage in Oswego, he will be backed by an ensemble of musicians playing traditional instruments of the region.

Well-known in his home country through recordings and films, he constantly reinvents his folk-based musical sources. A recent performance with rising star Meesha Shafi for the popular Coke Studio Sessions has received nearly 8 million hits on YouTube.

Also featured is Arooj Aftab, who hails from Lahore and came to the United States in 2005 to study at the Berklee College of Music. With influences that range from legendary Sufi singers to Ella Fitzgerald and current performers on the Boston music scene, her style has been described as graceful and musically complex.

Aftab, whose first album is scheduled for release this year, views her music as a means of strengthening global community and promoting peace and healing for her homeland. She is the founder of an initiative called Rebuild Pakistan.

This special Artswego event is part of Caravanserai: A Place Where Cultures Meet, a program managed by Arts Midwest on behalf of U.S. regional arts organizations.

Caravanserai receives financial support from the Building Bridges program of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. The local appearance is presented by Artswego in collaboration with the Ontario Center for Performing Arts and SUNY Oswego’s Institute for Global Engagement with support from the National Endowment for the Arts/Challenge America Fast Track Program, SUNY Oswego’s Office of International Education and Programs, and the college’s Auxiliary Services.

Tickets for Arif Lohar with Arooj Aftab cost $15 ($12 for seniors ages 62 and over, children 17 and under and SUNY Oswego faculty and staff; $7 for SUNY Oswego students) and may be purchased at any SUNY Oswego box office location, by phone at 315-312-2141 or online at Parking is free in campus lots for those attending the performance.

PHOTO CAPTION: Star singer—Arif Lohar, considered one of Pakistan’s most treasured singers, will headline a concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in SUNY Oswego’s Campus Center arena. Presented by the college’s Artswego program, the concert also features rising star Arooj Aftab and wraps up the year’s Caravanserai cultural series. Tickets are available at any SUNY Oswego box office location, by phone at 315-312-2141 or online at

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(Posted: Mar 19, 2012)

Tags: world awareness, none, caravanserai, artswego