Festive atmosphere envelops Arts Council's music festival.

KARACHI -- The three-day Pakistan Music Festival organised by the Arts Council of Pakistan that kicked off on Friday evening saw a big number of music lovers enjoy a melange of pop, qawwali and folk music by dancing to thumping beats or swaying to lilting melodies. The charged, lively atmosphere had as much to do with the wonderful compositions that the musicians played as with the wholehearted participation of the audience.

The show formally began with a nice little performance by Drum Circle after which the relatively younger lot of vocalists appeared on stage. Imran Ali was the first one to flex his vocal muscles. He was followed by the now familiar band Jam Broz representing the council. The group's first song was Atif Aslam's Jalpari which became extremely popular when it was performed on Coke Studio Season 2. The band did a fine job with it but one felt it would have been better if they'd chosen a lower note for their singing. Their rendition of another famous Coke Studio track Sir Di Bazi (originally sung by Sahir Ali Bagga and Aima Baig) was pretty good. Jam Boyz rounded off their stint on stage with a rap track.

The third youngster who was asked to display his talent was Mustafa Baloch. He sang Jugni (again, the Coke Studio version). He did a nice job but those [instrumentalists] who were playing with him were tremendous.

Then came the big guns. First up was Hamza Akram...

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