Apr 14, 2008

Salman Ahmad's Junoon

So we went to a Salman Ahmad/Junoon concert on April 6th at the tidal basin in Washington D.C. The event was sponsored by the Pakistani Embassy and the concert was part of the annual Cherry Blossom festival here in D.C. The venue couldn't have been any better than the steps of the Thomas Jefferson memorial, in front of the tidal basin. Unfortunately, it was a very cloudy and dark day which didn't set the right ambiance for the lively music of Junoon.

The original members of the group have split up and the band now comprises of Salman Ahmad and Pandit Samir Chatterjee. I remember my first Junoon concert,when the original group was together, it was the best live concert I've ever been to. Just as Bryan, Salman, and Ali walked onto the stage, the audience was screaming and jumping up and down. In fact, I remember a stampede of die-hard fans running down the aisles toward the stage just to get a closer look at the singers. This weekend's concert was a bit of a disappointment in comparison to Junoon concerts in the past.

Although Salman Ahmad is a great guitarist, his voice doesn't have the same Junoon that Ali Azmat had. I guess the fact that they were playing in an open air venue with out all the right equipment didn't help. In fact, just this last month we saw Salman perform at a National Geographic event and that was a great concert. It was at this concert that I met Salman's wife, Samina Ahmad, who seems like a very friendly person and is interested in meeting all of Salman's fans. I also had a chance to chat with his father, who is indeed very proud of his son's accomplishments. It was nice to see how his family supports him and shares his passion for music.

Salman currently lives in New York with his family and performs/lectures on Sufi music.