As the curtains go up on the Friday Review November Fest, a magical, musical tour will take the audience through a multi-genre diversity — ranging from the mystic to the exotic.

Moonlit melodies, blitzkrieg beats, pulse-throbbing medleys and bluesy strains come together in the Friday Review November Fest 2009 (November 17 to 22), as it weaves in and out of old-world romance and contemporary ferment. The Fest brings several celebrity artistes from other parts of the world to Chennai, some of them for the first time. And, as always, the Fest promises an exhilarating multi-genre diversity, ranging from the mystic to the exotic. In other words, there is fun for all, and something for every individual taste.

Tere ishq nachaya

Pakistan's legendary singer Abida Parveen comes to Chennai, for the first time, to cast the spell of her voice and vision on the opening day of the November Fest. As one of the best living exponents of ghazal, thumri and the kafis of Sufi saint poets, Abida Parveen combines craft sophistication with the earthy folk flavours of the Sindh and the Punjab. Her inspired style is shaped by her deep faith in the Sufi ideals of passion and peace. That is why her singing can be both rousing and meditative, empowered by her conviction that music and poetry are the expressions of the highest truth.

Bansuriya ab na bajao shyam

National recognition came rather late to Pandit Channulal Mishra, though connoisseurs had long valued him as a true representative of the grandeur of Benares. Among them was actor Amitabh Bachchan, who made sure that his son's marriage to Aishwarya Rai was blessed by the veteran's music. November Fest brings this leading musician of the Kirana gharana to Chennai for the first time. Traditionalist that he is, over the years, Mishra has also developed an engaging style, absorbing trends from other gharanas, and an audience-friendly stage presence. He excels in light classical genres such as the bhajan, and the seasonal chaiti, hori, tappa or dadra. The purab ang thumri finds an authentic voice in him. His sparkling sense of rhythm is a legacy from the masters of tabla in his family.

Sur kahe shyam suno

When the blind bard Surdas sang, legend has it that Krishna put his flute down to listen. O.S. Arun (groomed by father and guru O.V. Subramaniam) and Sanjeev Abhyankar (disciple of Pandit Jasraj) will share the stage to explore the movement from the sensuous to the spiritual in Surdas's fervid outpourings. Firmly entrenched in the classical tradition as they are, the young singers have also adventured in a range of genres from fusion to film music. If Abhyankar won the National Award for Best Singer ('Godmother'), Arun astonished viewers with his playing the character of Kovalan in a Carnatic opera based on the 'Silappadikaram.' At the Fest, the pair will shape a creative collaboration beyond the predictable jugalbandi.

Hey which way

The James Ryan Quartet brings the lavish energies of jazz in highly original music. Founded by Australian musician James Ryan, the quartet is internationally known for its commitment to precision as to the surge of creative ideas. The band's instinctive jamming evokes rich textures and richer contrasts. Ryan's penchant for improvisation on three instruments (tenor sax, flute and saxello) is bound to fascinate Chennai as much as the Quartet's blend of the aggressive and the pensive, in raw rhythms and whisper-soft glides.

The milky way

Listeners across the world have soared into the night skies with this original song by the Korean band, Gong Myoung, named after the unique wind instrument invented by group members. This Korean band makes music as fresh as the wind blowing through the reeds. Intercutting traditional rhythms from old Korean instruments with sounds original and perky, Gong Myoung has shaped a style arresting and modern, turning medleys into a stunning performance, in a confluence of dance, drama and cinema. Gong Myoung introduces its distinctive brand of percussion to Chennai at the Fest.

Smile will bring a sunshine day

The haunting songs and heart-stopping rhythms of Osibisa will explode live at the November Fest as the world-acclaimed British Afro-rock band comes to Chennai. Hugely popular with the student community all over India in the late 1960s and 1970s, Osibisa celebrates its 40th anniversary this year (2009), even as it continues to make audiences go wild with its sizzling criss-cross of jazz, rock, soul, Latin, African and Caribbean rhythms, as it did when the band shot to fame in the 1970s as pioneers of Afro rock and world music. Most widely anthologised, imitated and adapted, Osibisa - which toured India last in the early 1980s - remains an interactive, infectious, danceable international act.

Sponsor Details

Presenting Sponsor: Bose

Associate Sponsors

Dow Chemicals International Pvt. Ltd.

RMKV Silks

LG Electronics India Pvt. Ltd.

Nippon Paints

DLF Limited

Casio

Beverage Partner: A V Thomas & Co. Ltd

Hospitality Partner: Taj Coromandel, Chennai

Event Manager: Show Space

FOR TICKETS

Tickets are priced at Rs. 600, Rs. 350 and Rs. 200. Season passes are available for Rs. 3,000, Rs. 1,750 and Rs. 1,000. Tickets for all shows can be purchased online at www.thehindu.com/novemberfest from November 2, 2009. Tickets for all the shows are available at The Music Academy (between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.) and Landmark (Nungambakkam alone) from November 6, 2009.

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