New York - On Friday, the musical group Sachal Studios of Lahore will arrive in New York as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program to meet with local organizations and university students, sharing insights on their role as jazz musicians in Pakistan. The U.S. Department of State has long recognized the role of music in diplomacy, with its emphasis on free expression, improvisation, and democratic and collaborative teamwork.

Following their meetings in New York on Friday, the group will attend the Saturday Tribeca Film Festival premiere of “Song of Lahore,” a documentary film featuring the group and directed by Academy Award-winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken. Also in attendance will be Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges Mara Tekach.

From the mid-1950s and continuing through the 1970s, many American jazz greats traveled the globe as music envoys under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of State. Today’s music diplomacy programs, including American Music Abroad, Center Stage, OneBeat, and Next Level, and the State Department’s other arts-based initiatives, serve to open dialogue with new audiences, encourage collaboration, create economic opportunities, and empower women and youth by providing positive and popular avenues for engagement.