Gig Alert: Arif Lohar

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Arif Lohar
"Alif Allah Chambey di Booti"
Playing on Friday at the Asia Society
(725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, U.E.S.)
Get: Tickets ($22-$30) | Directions

Beloved Pakistani singer Arif Lohar is known for playing and popularizing jugni, a subgenre of Pakistani folk that features Sufi poetry and spiritual writings sung in Punjab. He is said to have recorded over 3,000 songs and more than 150 albums and is considered to be one of the best Punjabi singers alive.

Lohar is also credited with introducing elements of pop to traditional Pakistani culture. His hit “Alif Allah Chambey di Booti,” for example, gets its title and lyrics from a poem written by the 17th-century poet Sultan Bahu. (A performance of the song — from the documentary Caravanserai: A Place Where Cultures Meet Pakistan by filmmaker Nadya Shah — is available for download above.)

On Friday night, Arif Lohar begins a rare, two-night local engagement at the Asia Society as a part of the institution’s “Creative Voices of Muslim Asia” series. The Saturday concert will also be livestreamed here.

But before the shows, watch Arif Lohar and guest singer Saima perform the catchy song “Dum Gutku” in the video below.