Prakash Sontakke, an accomplished slide guitarist with eclectic music tastes, puts together a global music festival

There’s something about the weather – it makes you want to lose yourself to the rhythm of the music man. Then, escape into a world yonder. In sync with this aspiration, Karnataka’s only slide guitarist Prakash Sontakke, in a tribute to his parents, violinist RB Sontakke and Mani Sontakke, who mastered over 15 musical instruments, has pioneered the Sontakke Global Music Festival in collaboration with the Shankar Mahadevan and Octavium Academies.

“I worked for about four months to put this fest together, maybe more,” said Sontakke in a run up to the inaugural show on December 15. The inaugural song for world peace titled “Prabhu Jee Daya Karo” composed by Pt. Ravishankar and George Harrison was rendered by the Sontakke family – Anurag, Aparna and Chaitra, accompanied by Mike Sorensen on the digeridoo, followed by a jugalbandi and fusion performance between Pravin Godkhindi and Prakash.

Stage set, the city is abundant with performances by maestros of music including Varijashree & Ustad Faiyaz Khan, Jyotsna Srikanth, Iain Ballamy, Thomas Stronen, Amrit , BC Manjunath , Karthik Mani, Anoor Anantkrishna Sharma, Soundarya Srivatsa, MD Pallavi, MK Tejasvini, KC Jayaram, Adarsh Shenoy, Vinay Sharva & Abhijith Shenoy Jugalbandi, Ravichandra Kullur, Rama Mani, Padma Shankar, Jagadeesh , Madhuri, Gerard Machado, Vaishali Srinivas, Bruce Lee Mani with his band Thermal And A Quarter and Ragavan Manian among a host of musicians par repute.

While the performances will be spread across various venues in Bangalore over ten days, until December 25, Prakash says that Bangalore is the perfect venue for a fest of this calibre. “This city has music lovers, not just musician lovers,” he beams, adding, “Here, all kinds of music exists parallelly and peacefully.”

In fact, what keeps Prakash hooked to music is not just that it’s his lifeblood, but his dream. “Especially through this fest, which was the best way I could think of paying tribute to my parents. Bringing so many genres under one banner is a great task and a risky one too, but there’s no other way, in my mind,” he beams.

It’s all because Prakash simply takes music in his stride – from being featured in Coke Studio Season 2 with Bollywood’s own Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa and on Mercurial Balm, an offshoot of ECM records, alongside Thomas Strønen, Iain Ballamy, Nils Petter Molvær, Eivind Aarset and Christian Fennesz. As Prakash sinks into the world music ensemble, there’s little wonder why his album in the anvil, is titled Perception.

For now, sit back and lose yourself to the rhythm of the music people about town.

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