The Friday Review November Fest 2010 opens with a four-day feast in Hyderabad between 10 and 14 November. A look at what the festival has to offer.

November 10: Aruna Sairam -in praise of vitthala - abhangs

When Aruna Sairam sings, myriad emotions reverberate through the concert hall. There’s bhakti, there’s gyaana, and, most of all, an exuberance and abandon that strikes a chord with every listener.

The singer, known for her rich, deep timbre, makes it a point to sing an abhang or two at every concert. The fondness for this form of devotional poetry, sung in praise of Vitthala, has roots in her growing-up years in Bombay. At the Friday Review November Fest in 2006, she came up with a theme concert woven entirely around abhangs. She delves deep into that genre yet again, to come up with creations that promise to lift the soul.

Aruna has collaborated with acclaimed international artistes such as Dominique Vellard, the French master of Gregorian chant, and Christian Bollmann of Germany. In India, she has collaborated with Shankar Mahadevan, U Shrinivas and several North Indian musicians, among others.

She has performed throughout the world, including at Carnegie Hall in New York, Le Theatre de la Ville in Paris, and the Festival of World Sacred Music in Morocco.

Among the many national and international honours that have come her way are the Padma Shri, the Kalaimamani and the prestigious U.S. Congress Proclamation of Excellence.


Raghavendra Rao - Violin

J. Vaidyanathan - Mridangam

S. Karthick - Ghatam

Niranjan Lele - Harmonium

Sai Bankar - Tabla

Prakash Shejwal - Pakhavaj

Pratap Rath -Additional Percussion

November 11: Yodhakaa - sholka cool-contemporary Indian

Yodhakaa is an experimental music set-up that evolved from the idea of finding a bridge between the traditional and the contemporary. Sanskrit shlokas and emotions come together to create a unique sound that traverses far and wide, searching for that inner meaning which defines the atma

Yodhakaa strives to do exactly that — by breaking free and finding support and inspiration in this grand old language that is so rooted in our heritage. And, it layers the slokas with musical influences, not just from India, but from all around the world — from jazz and blues to traditional Carnatic music, Nigerian street drumming to the Algerian rai, Cuban son to the Bahian samba-cancsao, South-American Merengue to Senegal’s wolof, and more.

The team consists of five radical young musicians from different cultural and musical backgrounds — ‘Darbuka’ Siva, Pradeep, Subhiksha, Donan Murray and Divyan Ahimaz — who’ve come together to create a distinctively textured sound.

‘Darbuka’ Siva - drums and percussions

Pradeep - Vocals and Slideguitar

Subhiksha - Vocals and percussion

Donan Murray - Guitar

Divyan Ahimaz - Bass

November 13: Tina Sani - Hope and healing, Sufi

Tina Sani sang before she started speaking. And, destiny took care of the rest — she made her debut, which became a runaway hit, on Pakistan Television in 1980. She learnt classical music from Ustad Nizamuddin Khan Sahib, son of Ustad Ramzan Khan of the Delhi Gharana, but music was never really a career plan.

She moved on and dabbled in many things, including teaching art, but the magical pull of music was too great to ignore. She started off with popular music before she got to give shape to her love for ghazals. Little surprise, for she lives in a land of ghazal singers such as Mehdi Hasan, Ghulam Ali and Farida Khanum. And then, she got to sing a Nazm (free verse) of Faiz Ahmad Faiz for composer Arshad Mehmud. The year was 1985, and Tina had found her niche.

She now sings verses of hope. Verses that lead her to speak up and to rise against injustice. Poetry with a cause.

Tina Sani

Abid Hussain  - Tabla

Akhtar Hussain - Sarangi

Aslam - percussionist, dholak

Iqbal Hussain and Wazir Sultan - Harmonium

November 14: Hindi Retro -Travel back in time to an era when melody ruled in Hindi cinema.

Srinivas, Chinmayi, Haricharan and Shweta Mohan come together for some retro magic in this show, featuring hits down the ages till the 1980s.

The show will start off with Srinivas’ favourite K.L. Saigal, before moving on to ditties from the 1950s and 1960s. What will dominate will be the energy and vivacity of the swinging Seventies, featuring songs

by Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Kishore Kumar and Mohammad Rafi. And, of course, hits from the Kishore Kumar-RD Burman combination.

Get prepared to immerse yourself in the compositions of R.D. Burman, S.D. Burman, Madan Mohan, Naushad and Salil Chowdury. A 15-member orchestra hand-picked from Chennai and Kerala, will accompany the singers.

Among the retro gems, which will include a lot of duets, you’ll get to listen to ‘Main Kya Jaanoon’, ‘Tere Mere Sapne’, ‘Oh Sajna’, ‘Madhuban Mein Radhika’, ‘Yeh Kya Hua’, ‘Musafir Hoon Yaaron’, ‘Hawa Ke Saath Saath’, ‘Deewana Tha Badal’ and ‘Tere Mere Milan’.




Shweta Mohan 


A mix of rhythm and melodyOctober 29, 2010