Photo Thomas Blythe
Arooj Aftab, Lucas Santtana
Pakistani-American Arooj Aftab turns music into a time machine and teleporter.
Pakistani-American Arooj Aftab turns music into a time machine and teleporter. It’s where the texts of the 13th-century mystic poet Rumi meet reggae beats and Urdu Ghazal poems encounter the blues tradition. Last year she released her heart-breaking album Vulture Prince, which was praised by Helsingin Sanomat as “completely detached from the juxtapositions of West and East and pop, classical and jazz”.
The boundary between seriousness and fun is rendered null at her gigs. Aftab, who has settled in Brooklyn, can start by cracking sarcastic jokes with a glass of red wine in her hand, before taking her audience on an intimate walk into the valley of sorrow accompanied by her harp.
Lucas Santtana, who will open for Aftab, represents the modern face of música popular brasileira. His approach is as open-minded as Aftab’s: you can hear the traditions of classical guitar, dub and samba in Santtana’s music.