The Matki Band began in Atlanta, but spread to Houston when visitors there were inspired seeing others performing in Atlanta Jamatkhana. They showed a video clip of the performance to the orchestra-band lead in Houston, requesting him to initiate something similar. This led to the formation of the Southwest Matki Band, which now has over 100 members in several cities, ranging in age from 60-90 years. Since then, the Florida Jamat have also formed such a band.
“When I was initially approached by the seniors, I was skeptical about how such a program would work,” says Kamal Haji, creative director and lead instructor of the Southwest Matki Band, at the helm of this initiative since its formation in 2010. “However, as the auditions were conducted, the criteria was tweaked to accommodate musical talents of the seniors, who shared inspiring stories of their individual musical journeys,” he added.
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In this video presentation, the immensely artistic members of the Ismaili Seniors Matki Band of Southwestern United States, penned the Gujarati lyrics to the original song “Bahaar”, in collaboration with the Band Director and original lyricist, Kamal Haji.