Pakistani musicians in concert Sept. 7 at UA


Growing up in the culturally vibrant city of Peshawar in Pakistan, cousins Zeb Bangash and Haniya Aslam experienced an international array of music.

Zeb Bangash, left, provides vocals while her cousin, Haniya Aslam, plays guitar. They are opening their United States tour on the UA campus on Friday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m.

"We heard everything: old Bollywood filmi (a style of Indian popular music), folk music from all over, and even American and British classic rock from our cousins," recalls Haniya. "And there was always live music in Peshawar, and lots of Afghani musicians performing, during the holiday of Eid or at weddings, and of course, at our grandma's place.

Adds Zeb, "Everyone around us was a music lover. And everything was welcome."

Now musicians themselves and performing as Zeb & Haniya, they are opening new avenues for Americans to savor and understand Pakistan's northwestern regions. The cousins bring a highly listenable, global sensibility to earthy originals and sounds from the eastern edge of Central Asia, and continue a tradition of strong female artists making an impact on Pakistani popular music.

U.S. tour begins in Akron

Zeb & Haniya, along with a band of young Pakistani rock and jazz musicians, open their United States tour with a performance at The University of Akron on Friday, Sept. 7. The free concert begins at 8 p.m. in Guzzetta Recital Hall, 157 University Ave., across from E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall on the UA campus.

The Akron concert is co-sponsored by The University of Akron's Office of Inclusion and Equity/Chief Diversity Office and the Confucius Institute, in collaboration with Akron International Friendship. The tour is presented by Center Stage, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to bring compelling contemporary artists from Haiti, Indonesia and Pakistan to the United States to engage Americans in cultural diplomacy as a way to create opportunities for greater understanding. Administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts, with funding from the Asian Cultural Council, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, this public-private partnership is the largest public diplomacy effort to bring foreign artists to American stages in recent history.

Zeb & Haniya will also perform during the inaugural Global Village Festival of Greater Akron on Saturday, Sept. 8, at Lock 3 Park in Downtown Akron.

More information is available at Zeb & Haniya and the Center Stage.

Visit the UA School of Music online for more information about upcoming events.

Media contact: Cyndee Snider, 330-972-5196 or