Sattar Jogi is easily the most prominent Murli Been player in Pakistan. Like the rest of the Jogi or snake charmer community, he was trained to play the Murli Been. However, he has taken the place of the instrument in the classical and semi-classical folk tradition to the next level through his hard work. Today, folk music festivals in Pakistan remain incomplete without his presence.
One of the most legendary folk and semi-classical Suroz players in the history of Pakistan, Sachu Khan is a towering figure in the local musical tradition. He started his career in the 1970s with Radio Pakistan Quetta. He has represented Pakistan with several folk troupes around the world. Currently, his health has been overshadowed by heart disease.
Zohaib Hassan is the leading name among the handful of Sarangi players left in Pakistan. Hailing from the Amritsar clan, Zohaib is the grandson of Ustad Hussain Baksh Amrtisari who migrated to the heart of the walled city of Lahore from the eastern Punjab city in modern day India. The tradition of the Sarangi is linked with classical dance used to be practiced in the Shahi Mohalla of Lahore.
Ejaz Sarhadi is the only Sarinda player left in Pakistan and is a master of his craft. He is the son of the legendary Muneer Sarhadi, who along with his father Pazeer Khan, is credited for popularizing the musical instrument in the mainstream of folk music in both Pakistan and United India. Ejaz Sarhadi’s son has opted to learn the saxophone instead of the Sarinda.
Ustad Mumtaz Ali Sabzal
Ustad Mumtaz Ali Sabzal is one of the most prolific Balochi Banjo soloists in Pakistan. He is the grandnephew of Gul Muhammad Baloch, the inventor of the Balochi Banjo. He started learning to play Banjo from Ustad Mubarak Ali in 1979 and has represented Pakistan abroad several times. He is one of the many Baloch artists who have originated from Lyari Town in Karachi and is also a craftsman of the instrument.
Gulbaz is a Sufi vocalist and Chardha player representing the Wakhi Pamiri musical tradition. Gulbaz mostly plays the Sufi poems of the Iranian saint Pir Nasir Khusrow, which are accompanied by the beat of the duff, a local percussion instrument. While based in Karimabad, Gulbaz is affiliated with an Islamabad based Wakhi Sufi band called Bazm-e-Laka.
Ajmal Laal Bheel
Ajmal Laal Bheel is the protégé of the colorful folk artist Krishan Laal Bheel and is a member of his troupe. He is the primary Raanti player, an instrument only played by this Merwari cultural troupe from Rahimyar Khan. He is at the forefront of keeping this ancient folk tradition alive and also crafts the Raanti, which is not made in any other place in the country.
Akbar Khamisu Khan
Akbar Khamisu Khan is the son of the legendary Alghoza player Khamisu Khan, who dominated the folk scene in the 1970s and the early 80s. After the death of his father, Akbar Khamisu Khan started his career in administration in Radio Pakistan and was later designated as an official Alghoza player.
Faqeer Zulfikar is the only known Boreendo player in Pakistan. He also plays the Narr, a Sindhi variant of the flute, as well as the Damburi, which is a smaller version of the Dambura but played like a Rabab. The son of Sindhi folk artist Mir Muhammad, who was the recipient of Pride of Performance Award, Zulfikar is singlehandedly keeping the ancient tradition of Boreendo alive.