A slice of Kolkata in Mumbai

Swapan Chaudhuri

Swapan Chaudhuri  

Two-day Eastbound Music Festival will be anchored by tabla maestro Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri

For the first time in Mumbai, a two-day music festival will feature performances by musicians from Kolkata who have a distinctive musical lineage and artistic personality.

Conceived and produced by First Edition Arts, the Eastbound Music Festival aims to encourage the propagation and preservation of Indian classical music in the country’s two major centres: Mumbai and Kolkata. Eastbound festival will take place at BN Vaidya Sabhagraha in Dadar this weekend.

Devina Dutt, the curator of the festival, believes that the folklore and anecdotes around Indian music has been the binding factor between the two cities. “Musicians travelling from one city to another help in widening the listening culture and taste of music lovers,” said Ms. Dutt, co-founder of First Edition Arts.

She added, “Exchanges between cities which promote a wider selection of musicians are a great way of making our cities and their art ecosystems open and vibrant.”

The festival will be anchored by legendary tabla maestro Padma Shri Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, who will perform on both days, including a concluding tabla solo.

Ms. Dutt said, “[He will be accompanied] by Dilshad Khan on sarangi at the concluding session of the festival.”

A slice of Kolkata in Mumbai

The first day of the festival on Saturday will feature Agra gharana maestro Waseem Ahmed Khan, the great grandson of Ustad Atta Hussain Khan. Ahmed Khan is the 17th musician in the unbroken lineage of the gharana. Though music runs in his family, he believes that riyaaz (practise) is the key to becoming a successful musician. “I have always believed in presenting such ragas to the audience which are heard rarely,” said Ahmed Khan, adding that he will perform some of the ragas which are special to him and his gharana like Jaijaiwanti.

In the time when most people lack the patience to sit still, Ahmed Khan believes that the true depth of an artiste can only be witnessed when he has the talent and skill to perform a particular raga for more than an hour. “We used to have musical baithaks for around three hours in the olden days,” said Ahmed Khan, who is currently a guru at ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata.

Soulful: The first day of the festival will feature Waseem Ahmed Khan of Agra gharana (top), followed by a performance by sarod maestro Prattyush Banerjee.

Soulful: The first day of the festival will feature Waseem Ahmed Khan of Agra gharana (top), followed by a performance by sarod maestro Prattyush Banerjee.  

Ahmed Khan’s session will be followed by sarod maestro Prattyush Banerjee, who has trained under Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta. Though Banerjee belongs to the Senia- Shahjhanpur gharana, his style of playing is highly individualistic with traces of several other genres. He has taken lessons in Western music and is also a piano player. He will be accompanied by tabla virtuoso and Padma Shri awardee Swapan Chaudhari, who belongs to the Lucknow gharana.

The second day of the festival on Sunday will see Omkar Dadarkar performing at a morning session. Dadarkar has trained under Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar and Vidushee Girija Devi at ITC Sangeet Research Academy. Dadarkar hails from a family of Marathi Natyasangeet ( musical dramas) exponents and received his initial training from noted vocalist Manik Verma.

Ms. Dutt said she plans a similar music festival in Kolkata. “I will bring together artistes from Mumbai for the music lovers of Kolkata,” she said, emphasising that this festival is very personal for the First Edition Arts team who are from Kolkata. “They now consider Mumbai as their home and workplace as they have been here for the past three decades,” she said.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 8:08:42 AM |

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