Ammar Farooki - Cementing his place among the very best in the US

We often talk about how Pakistani music is reaching new heights through Coke Studio and other TV shows but what we tend to ignore are the artists that are actually making it happen individually on their own. One such name is Ammar Farooki. Yes, the same talented guy who left everyone in awe of his brilliance when he performed at Levi's Live produced by Farhad Humayun.

Ammar Farooki posing for a picture with his favorite guitarist Mike McCreedy of Pearl Jam.

Ammar Farooki's Musical Run in the United States 

Ammar Farooki, after a grand debut at Levi's Live, made very few appearances in Pakistan but once his debut EP "Songs from the Cave" came out, he was all over the news, locally and internationally. From Daily Times, Aaj TV, to Forbes - everyone was left mesmerized with the spellbinding essence of his music. If you are wondering, where he has been after such a promising start, you would be surprised to know that he is in the United States of America these days, enjoying his life and living his passion as a musician.

Along with regular solo performances, Ammar has been a regular at the Big City Folk Sessions, a collective of international singer-songwriters, gathering every week to share their original songs. He also brings his songs to the Cask Sessions, a similar circle of musicians and emerging talent.

In just four months Ammar has been able to play at some of the most iconic and historic New York City venues for live music, and has been developing and cultivating an international following with each show. He has been able to play multiple times at the famous Rockwood Music Hall, which has been an amazing platform showcasing some the best emerging and established live music acts in NYC since 2005. As a result, he’s been invited to perform at the 15 Year Anniversary of Rockwood Music Hall to play alongside some of the biggest names in the local music scene.

In December 2019, Ammar Farooki (featuring Diane Desobeau on piano) performed at the Danny Clinch Transparent Gallery in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Danny Clinch is an iconic photographer, film director who has photographed some of the greats, including Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Tupac Shakur and Pearl Jam. He also regularly performs with Bruce Springsteen, Tangiers Blues Band and other artists. Ammar was able to play some of his hit songs from his album “Songs from the Cave” as well as other unreleased tracks. He closed out the decade by playing a show at Pianos in the Lower East Side, a premier spot for artists of all genres - and a crowd favorite.

Ammar had a strong start to 2020 with a sold-out show in Long Island, New York. It was his first Sofar Sounds concert - and he was also the first Pakistani to play for Sofar Long Island. Talk about setting standards, Ammar has been on the top! These shows are intimate gigs curated and hosted for one night only in unique venues and regularly take place in major cities around the world. A proud moment indeed for all Pakistani music fans who love watching their stars reach the peaks of success.

Ammar Farooki performing live on January 10, 2020.

Ammar has also played at other celebrated live music venues including The Well and The West End Lounge and has a host of shows lined up for the year ahead. Nothing can be a greater honor for Ammar to be invited to play at the prestigious American Folk Art Museum on February 21 and to showcase his songs at The Scratcher. This is one of the best listening rooms in the city that regularly hosts celebrated artists such as Glen Hansard, David Keenan and Niall Conolly. For a Pakistani artist, it is nothing but a privilege to perform at such an iconic venue.

Ammar’s music journey from Pakistan to the US was also captured in a Vlog by the amazing Taimoor Salahuddin a.k.a. Mooroo - Pakistan’s top YouTuber, director, musician and Vlogger. 

Ammar Farooki in New York with Pakistani musician and YouTuber Mooroo.

Another privilege of being based in New York City, is to enable to rub shoulders with some of the greatest living music icons. On just his second day in the city, Ammar got to see and meet one of his favourite guitarists from the band Pearl Jam. Mike McCreedy was performing with artist Kate Neckel, for their project Infinite Color & Sound.

During his time in the United States, he has been able to spend time and watch his favorite international musicians play live in the likes of The National, Bob Dylan, to name a few.

Nothing can be more satisfying for a musician than to share his art with those he has idolized all his life and has great admiration for. If you are in the United States and want to watch him perform live, here is his complete schedule for 2020.
  • 21 Feb 2020 – American Folk Art Museum
  • March 2020 - Danny Clinch Transparent Gallery, Asbury Park NJ