Pakistani Singer-Songwriter Arooj Aftab Performs at UNC Asheville February 27

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Arooj Aftab

Aroof Aftab, whose innovative music draws from classical Pakistani, Sufi and pre-partition South Asian music, will perform at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27 in UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium. Aftab skillfully re-imagines indigenous soul music, blending with jazz and contemporary world music.

Originally from Lahore, Pakistan, Aftab initially gained recognition as one of the few female guitarists in Pakistan. She moved to the United States in 2005 to study music production and engineering at Berklee College of Music. Since then Aftab has been named one of NPR’s top 100 composers under 40, and she has co-founded “Rebuild Pakistan,” an initiative to promote a vision of peace and healing for the country. She is also assistant editor and music supervisor for the new MTV series, Rebel Music, which follows young musicians in countries experiencing political and social struggle. The Boston Globe praised Aftab’s ability to “merge sonic palettes with natural grace,” saying her voice “swirls and dives in the delicate, complicated motions of her country’s long musical heritage.”

Tickets are $20; $12 for UNC Asheville faculty, staff and alumni; $7 for Asheville-area students; $5 for UNC Asheville students, and are available at

The concert is sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Cultural Events and Special Academic Programs office. For more information, visit the Cultural Events website or call 828.251.6674.