WMU News

Popular Pakistani band comes to Kalamazoo on 'peace tour'

Nov. 11, 2004

KALAMAZOO--The Pakistan Student Association at Western Michigan University is bringing one of South Asia's top bands to the State Theatre in Kalamazoo for a "Peace Concert" at 8:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15.

Junoon, which means "Passion" in Urdu, has become an international phenomenon, and its U.S. Peace Concerts in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks have garnered worldwide praise. The band has received awards from UNESCO for Outstanding Achievements in Music and Peace and the BBC for Contribution to Asian Culture.

It blends Western rock, traditional Punjabi folk music and Sufi poetry for a mystical, alternative sound with an international flare. The four-person group formed in the early 1990s when Salman Ahmed, a doctor by profession, gave up the stethoscope for a guitar and introduced rock music to a regime in Pakistan that at the time, abhorred music.

Junoon has had a number of hits, in both English and Urdu, that have reached No. 1 positions on VH1 Asia and MTV Asia. In addition, it was featured in a VH1-produced documentary called "Islamabad: Rock City" that was hosted by actress Susan Sarandon.

The group became the first Asian band to perform at the annual Roskilde Festival near Copenhagen, Denmark when it performed there this past summer along with acts including Oasis, Pearl Jam, Pet Shop Boys and Bush. In 2001, it also became the first band to perform at a concert for peace at the United Nations General Assembly.

All Junoon tickets cost $10 and are general admission. They may be purchased on campus by visiting Room 407 (A wing) Ellsworth Hall or through Ticketmaster by calling (269) 373-7000 or logging on to <www.ticketmaster.com>.

For more information about the concert, visit <www.rso.wmich.edu/psa>.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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