USA: Banned music showcased in concert series in New York



Banned music showcased in concert series in New York

Austin Dacey and Haroon Bacha.

Photo by Quoc Pham

A concert with the exiled Pakistani singer Haroon Bacha on 9 December 2009 marks the start of a performance series at Brooklyn’s Littlefield that aims to showcase banned music from around the globe — music literally declared too dangerous to exist in its home country.

“Music is a Human Right” at Littlefield in Brooklyn, New York, on Wednesday 9 December 2009 features the singer Haroon Bacha who was forced into exile from his native Pakistan because the encroaching Taliban deemed his lyrics insufficiently puritanical.

Haroon Bacha is one of Pakistan’s most celebrated Pashtun singers. Because of his music’s messages of tolerance and pluralism, he became a prime target of the Taliban’s deadly campaign against music. In 2008, he was forced leave his family and seek asylum in New York.

Determined to continue making music, Haroon Bacha has recorded a new album and begun working with Radio Liberty in DC, where he hosts cultural and musical programs with the Pashto service. This will be Haroon’s first concert for the general public in New York and will be accompanied by master musicians Mohammad Essa on the tabla and Pervez Sakhi playing the rubab.

Impossible Music Sessions
Early 2010 will see the launch of ‘The Impossible Music Sessions’, a series of performances meant to connect performers in New York City with underground and essentially illegal bands and artists in Iran, Africa and elsewhere.

The sessions are the brainchild of Austin Dacey, whose vision of combating tyranny includes using music as ammunition, and who has set out to support musicians worldwide doing just that.

Click to read more about Haroon Bacha
Haroon Bacha

Austin Dacey

Photo by Quoc Pham

Read interview with Austin Dacey

Sound Liberation Front – 7 December 2009:

‘Music as a Human Right, and a Weapon: an interview with Austin Dacey’

Official home page:

About the concert

Music Is A Human Right:
A performance by Haroon Bacha

• Special Guest DJ Rekha
• DJ Agent Trevor

Presented by Austin Dacey and co-sponsored by FREEMUSE:The World Forum on Music & Censorship and Center for Inquiry

Wednesday, 9 December 2009, at 8pm.
Littlefield, 622 Degraw St., Brooklyn, NY 11217
Tel (718) 855-3388

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Related reading: News from Pakistan – on