Before Zeb and Haniya headed back to Pakistan after their Center Stage tour, one of the musicians remarked, "Music is the sound of emotions, it doesn't lie, it connects straight to the heart, it brings people together, it heightens the sense that we are all one."

Let's take a look at their tour and see how Zeb and Haniya connected with Americans through their music.

Arriving in September, they kicked off their tour in Akron, Ohio. Their first activity was to stop by Jennings Middle School where they performed a short acoustic set, had a Question and Answer session with the students, and were interviewed be a student journalist.

(Photos Courtesy of NEFA)

This was just the beginning of activity for Zeb and Haniya in Ohio. They went on to attend Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars Concert, perform an acoustic on-air set with Cleveland's NPR station WRCN, perform at University of Akron's Guzetta Recital Hall, and perform at the Global Village Festival while taking in many other artists' live acts.

The band with their sponsers in Akron.

(Performance Photo Credits: YW Luk, Others Courtesy of NEFA)

After Ohio, the band skipped over to Washington, DC to perform on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage (watch the performance here) and were featured in a panel discussion at Georgetown University called, "Zeb and Haniya on Music, Politics, and Women in Pakistan," hosted by GU's Mortara Center for International Studies.

(Photos Courtesy of NEFA)

But they were all soon traveling again, this time to Madison, Wisconsin, to participate in the Madison World Music Festival. In addition to performing several times at the festival, Zeb & Haniya also met the Indian-Pakistani Assocation at the University of Wisconsin and participated in a jam session. 

(Photos Courtesy of NEFA)

(Photo Credits: Fahd Majeed)

(Photos Courtesy of NEFA)

The band didn't miss out on a taste of the South West as they headed down to Albuquerque, New Mexico, next. Performing at the Globalquerque Festival, Zeb and Haniya encountered many musicians including fellow Center Stage ensemble, Ti-Coca & Wanga Negas! Post Festival, they got some local flavor participating in a Women's Music Salon at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. 

With Ti-Coca & Wanga Neges

(Photo Credits: Sarah Long Holland and NEFA)

Neal Copperman, Executive Director of AMP Concerts, who produce Globalquerque, Had this to say about Zeb and Haniya's time in Albuquerque:

The Salon was definitely a big hit...they rarely have the chance to sit down and play music with people in different communities... This was a really beautiful evening and people went home with both lovely experiences but also regional music that will hopefully stick with them too. Playing outside for 1,800 kids [at Globalquerque] was also a really positive experience for them. Seeing the school kids singing and dancing to Pakistani folk-pop was a beautiful thing.

From New Mexico, the band went on to perform in Helena, Montana, and Denver, Colorado, before ending their tour in Houston, Texas. While in Houston, they performed at the Asia Society, hosted workshops at local middle schools, and had an on air interview with KPTF radio.

Throughout their Center Stage tour, Zeb and Haniya performed 12 times and participated in over 45 other activities including workshops, hosted dinners, and interviews. They reached over 8,500 people through songs and personal story sharing. "Now that I have toured America, it has given me the confidence to search out other touring opportunities around the world. The tour has educated me about America and its people and culture," remarked one band member. We hope to see them again Stateside soon, but in the meantime keep track of what they are up to here on their Facebook page!

Next up: Papermoon Puppet Theatre!