One prolonged battle with cancer, and decades of a successful classical music career later, it is with great sadness that the death of legendary dhol player Pappu Sain has been confirmed as he passed away this last Sunday in Lahore. Known for his passionate and everlasting love of music, the esteemed musician had not only regularly played himself, but had taught countless others to do so as well -- becoming one of the biggest names of Pakistani folk music.
Highly regarded amongst the local and international community as a Sufi dhol player, Pappu Sain has had the opportunity to play at many foreign locations including Germany, the UK, the UAE and then USA. Born to this world as Zulfiqar Ali, he changed his persona to the infamous Pappu Sain before the beginning of his decades long career. Most notoriously you may know him to play outside the Tomb of Shah Jamal, in Lahore. As the shrine of Sufi Saint Baba Shah Jamal, Pappu Sain performed there every Tuesday evening in respect of his mentor.
His funeral took place the following day of his passing and beyond that, many other artists and musicians took time out to mourn the death of such a vibrant and essential part of the industry as a whole. People recount that beyond just his magnificent abilities to play music, Pappu Sain was an overall lover and promoter of arts and culture in Pakistan. For these efforts, in his lifetime Pappu Sain had been awarded the state-organised honour prize of Pakistan -- Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Award of Excellence).
Now laid to rest in his ancestral village of Chak Jhumra, just northeast of the city Faisalabad, the dhol player leaves behind countless pupils of music, including his son Qalandar Baksh. To remember a great man and his impact on music, we have 4 videos below for you to enjoy the very best of Pappu Sain.
Pappu Sain in German Music Festival | Dhol and Trumpet
This is an epic performance at a German Music Festival by two of the Great Pakistani Musicians, legendary Pappu Sain on Dhol and classic Janay Khan on Trumpet. This video was recorded in 2010 and is a great example of the true sufi music of Pakistan.
Pappu Sain Dhol Rocking by Media Light Production
Wedding Video featuring Pappu Sain, shot by Muhammad Salik from Media Light Production .
Pappu Sain at Shah Jamal
Pappu Sain and Jhura Sain playing Sufi Dhol with Dhamaal (sufi dance) at Baba Shah Jamal's shrine in Lahore Pakistan. Pappu Sain is the finest and one of a very few sufi-dhol players in the world and plays at the mausoleum every Thursday night.
Papu Sain & Overload
Dhol Specialist Pappu Sain & Overload from Pakistan at Horisont Mela 2006. Oslo, Norway.