December 3, 2016


Musician Hamza Jafri must be credited for bringing together a unique musical ensemble  in Pakistan. Meet the Braadri orchestra, an innovative music band which comprises musicians playing different Pakistani instruments from the country’s various regions and cultures. The Braadri orchestra synchronises these diverse sounds into one uniquely “desi” musical ensemble.

The group performed on the 28th of November at the National Arts Council in Karachi. The Braadri broadcast, as the performance was called, featured the cross-cultural orchestra providing  music to a medley of singers whose renditions combined two or more regional languages. The concert featured duets and multiple singers, each singing a different language.

Karma Walay  combined Punjabi and Urdu. Man Mailo Tharo was sung in Marwari and Sindhi. This was followed by Pyaar ki Boli by Shahrukh Kazim in Brusheski and Sawera Ali in Siraiki. Next came Qurban with Irfan Ali in Shina and Zahid in Pashto. A song that was particularly enjoyable was W-11, a lyrical homage to the ubiquitous yellow buses of Karachi, W-11 being one of the routes they ply. Hamza Jaffri helped write W-11 and because it was in Urdu, it was one of the songs that I could easily understand. It featured one of my favourite lyrics of the night:

Sar Pey Uthaey, Poora Karachi, W-Giya-Ra” (It carries all of Karachi, the W-11).

This was followed by Tum Bin with Ashfaq Hussein in Marwari and Nimrah Rafiq in Urdu. The night ended with the rousing song Pakistani with verses sung in all the five major local languages of Pakistan, Urdu, Pashto, Balochi, Punjabi and Sindhi.

The young singers bought a great deal of energy to the evening, especially to the last song Pakistani which featured eight singers, including brothers Asim and Adil Baloch singing a duet in Balochi. The singers were complemented by Nimra Rafiq and Yasal Zehra on backing vocals, who had been providing a chorus all night. Pakistani bought the orchestra’s Braadri broadcast to a fitting end.

Hamza Jafri, a former member of the Pakistani rock band Co-Ven, has indeed pulled off a musical and organizational feat  by bringing together the Braadri orchestra. His wife Nida Butt, an experienced theatrical producer, deserves credit for the production that showcased this talent as does Mr Akram Khan, the composer and Urdu lyricist of the Braadri Broadcast.