NEW YORK – Music is rarely the subject of news from Afghanistan. War, terrorism, corruption, and other such topics have dominated the headlines. And if the Taliban – who outlawed all music save religious chants during their rule from 1996 to 2001 – had had their way, there wouldn’t be any Afghan music to speak of at all.
That background provides some context for the concert that joins Homayun Sakhi, a master of the rubab, an Afghan lute with over a thousand years of history, with Ken Zuckerman, a virtuoso of the Indian string instrument sarod, and Salar Nader, an Afghan-American tabla player, at Brandeis University Saturday night.
“They’re kindred instruments, from a single source, yet expressing themselves in different ways,’’ said Dartmouth College music professor Theodore Levin, who first introduced Sakhi and Zuckerman and organized this collaboration with support from the Aga Khan Music Initiative.
The two had never shared a stage until last week, when they performed at the Asia Society in Manhattan.