NMU will soon get a taste of Pakistani rock. Referred to as “The U2 of Pakistan,” Junoon defines Sufi rock, the type of music the band is famous for. Their music uniquely blends energetic guitar with lyrics about world issues, sung mostly in the Urdu language.
Dan Truckey, director of the Beaumier Heritage Center and coordinator of the International Performing Arts Series at NMU found the band by accident. After researching to find more information
about Junoon, he thought they would be a great first act for the year.
“We decided to select them for the series after the UNITED Conference approached the International Performing Arts Series about a joint concert,” he said. “They were looking for such an artist: a group from another part of the world whose music dealt with the issues of tolerance, social justice, and coexistence of different faiths.”
Truckey says audience members can expect a very electric performance from Junoon.
“They will rock,” he said. “In addition, this will be a very spiritual performance, not in a religious way, but rather as an expression of humanity and the ties that bind all human beings.”
Junoon’s musical inspirations include Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. In the past they have performed with Alicia Keys, Sting, Wyclef Jean, and Melissa Etheridge. Salman Ahmad, singer/ lead guitarist and founder of Junoon, co-wrote and recorded, “Ring the Bells” with Etheridge.
“Salman Ahmad believes very strongly in music as both an expression of faith and as a way of bringing people together,” Truckey
Ahmad is a UN Goodwill Ambassador for HIV and AIDS. Junoon’s involvement in world issues and their desire for peace strongly influences their lyrics. Ahmad will present a discussion on global wellness and his work as a UN Ambassador at the UNITED Conference in the Great Lakes Rooms on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. the day before the concert.
“I think Salman Ahmad will really be a highlight of the conference,” said associate professor Judy Puncochar, who is also chair of the UNITED Conference. “It’s exciting to be with someone who can capture the attention of so many people with his music and with his message of peace and good health. Having him here at Northern is an honor and certainly an opportunity for Northern students to meet someone who is quite famous internationally and has done a great deal for the world.”
Junoon will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1 at the Kauffman Auditorium. Students can get tickets in advance for $5 or $6 at the door. Faculty, staff, and seniors age 60 and over will be charged $13 in advance and $15 at the door, while all other general public will be charged $18 and $20.