The musicians of Sacha Studios of Pakistan (also known as Sachal Jazz Ensemble)l are refugees of a sort; rescued from poverty, these “veteran session players [had been] retired since the 1980s due to various anti-music zealotries.”
The Sachal Studios Orchestra was created by Izzat Majeed, a philanthropist based in London. When Pakistan fell under the dictatorship of General Zia-ul-Haq during the 1980s, Pakistan’s classical music scene fell on hard times. Many musicians were forced into professions they had never imagined — selling clothes, electrical parts, vegetables, etc. Whatever was necessary to get by. Today, many of these musicians have come together in a 60-person orchestra that plays in a state-of-the-art studio, designed partly by Abbey Road sound engineers.
We should be glad the Sachal Studios Orchestra can now perform and tour. They recently appeared with Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center in an event. Perhaps, this is just the beginning!
The censorship and resulting reaction from the musicians of music due to political turmoil and various regimes is interesting, and I can't help but feel that Sachal Studios will (hopefully!) be able to continue to lead other studios in continuing to make music regardless of the forces working against them.
Check out Eleanor Rigby, their "intro" video and their amazing cover of Take Five.