A variety of bands and singers marked World Music Day celebrations in the city

The Goethe Institut and Alliance Française de Chennai in association with Unwind Center celebrated World Music Day (June 21) by launching a week of musical events. “We are happy to bring this tradition to India. On this day in France, you will see a guy with a guitar at every street corner. For us it marks the longest day of summer. More than 30 countries take part in this fest through Alliance Française,” said director Benoit Olivier.

The festival comprised 13 concerts held at five venues. It kicked off early Thursday morning at the Goethe Institut with a performance by pianist Anil Srinivasan and vocalist/guitarist Vendanth Bharadwaj. The concert was organised in association with Nalandaway Foundation and Kalakendra.com for about 50 children, who were present at the concert. Nalandaway works for the cause of underprivileged and sexually abused children. On the occasion, the Chennai Music Library website was also launched. It will showcase videos of recordings and live performances that can be accessed freely by music teachers across the country to teach students of music.

Later that night an assortment of musical acts by different bands such as White Lady, Adam and the Fish Eyed Poets, El Fe and Malvika Manoj (featuring Keba Jeremiah) were performed. Choir group El Fe lead by Roshni Vincent opened the evening. The group began with the ever-popular ‘Seasons of Love’ from the movie/broadway production Rent. The last band to perform was Chennai’s Adam and the Fish Eyed Poets that has made a name for itself outside the city too. “We were here last year as well. It always feels great to perform at the Alliance Française,” said Amit Sivashanmugam of White Lady.

Duality and Max Turner commenced the third night of the music festival on the rooftop of the Goethe Institute. Packed with mostly college students eager for the rock and roll session, there was excitement in the air. After Max Turner, Skrat (Sath, Tappass and Sriram TT) played ‘Tin Can Man’. Jhanu comprising Harikirat, Jhanu, Bharat and Lawrence, performed next for an enthusiastic audience who sang along. Likewise, Jaazthee (Sean, Matt, Siva and Big Sean) captured attention with their white dhotis, sunglasses, and microphone stands carefully decorated with garlands.

On the fourth night, the show began with Pyjama Conspiracy and as you may have guessed, they were dressed in their PJs. It symbolises our “free-spirited” music, said band member and vocalist Shakthishree Gopalan. Along with other members Toby, Tapass and Roshan, the band began the show with covers and proceeded to play some originals. Krimson Blend, comprising Prithvi Chandrasekar, Vandana Srinivasan and Shankar Tucker, came up with some interesting covers. Next to perform was Groove #3, consisting of Benny, Naveen, Napier, David, Leon and Allwyn. The band has been around for two and a half years and is preparing for a national and South East Asian tour.

Grammy winner Tanvi Shah sang on the fifth day. Her repertoire included numbers in different languages — from Arabic to Latin.

According to Tanvi, it’s a great platform to experiment. And we couldn’t agree more!

The World Music day celebrations concluded at the Government Museum at Egmore. French electronic jazz fusion band, ‘Nojazz’ was thrilled about its first performance in the city and provided a fitting finale to Fete De La Musique.