Song of Lahore
In 2004, musician Izzat Majeed founded Sachal Studios to create a space for traditional music in a nation that had rejected its musical roots. Sharia law had decimated Pakistani orchestras in the late 1970s, and yet the Sachal musicians remain committed to revitalizing the customs of their forefathers. After several largely unnoticed classical and folk album releases, the group produces a record combining South Asian improvisation with jazz. One track in particular, a cover of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" becomes a runaway hit and Sachal find themselves presented with the opportunity of a lifetime - the chance to perform live with Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center. As Obaid-Chinoy and Schocken's camera follows the musicians around New York, they intimately capture both the challenges and joys of this Eastern and Western musical fusion, culminating in virtuosic concert footage of Sachal and Marsalis's unprecedented collaboration.
SONG OF LAHORE examines the lives and cultural heritage of several Pakistani classical musicians, and questions if there is still room for them in a society roiled by social and religious upheaval. After toiling in obscurity for years, an innovative album leads the musicians at Sachal Studios to international acclaim, and a high-profile concert with Wynton Marsalis and his orchestra at Jazz at Lincoln Center. This feature-length documentary follows their journey, and asks if they will ever find an audience at home.