TAMIL NADU

The Banyan to hold `Basant Utsav' today

CELEBRITY TOUCH: Shubha Mudgal (right) talks to the media about the upcoming music festival, along with Bombay Jayashree, in Chennai on Friday. Photo: K. Pichumani

CELEBRITY TOUCH: Shubha Mudgal (right) talks to the media about the upcoming music festival, along with Bombay Jayashree, in Chennai on Friday. Photo: K. Pichumani  

Staff Reporter

Fundraiser at Dakshina Chitra

CHENNAI: Basant is in the air, and it brings good tidings for music and dance lovers.

The Banyan, an organisation that helps rehabilitate destitute and mentally ill women, is holding its annual fundraiser `Basant Utsav' at Dakshina Chitra on Saturday, where Kathak dancer Aditi Mangaldas, singers Bombay Jayashree, Shubha Mudgal and percussionist Pete Locket will perform.

First time

Shubha and Jayashri met the media on Friday to talk about the concert. It is the first time they would be performing together. When Shubha was told that a lot of people would be expecting her to sing some of her popular numbers, she said laughing, "The photo has be holding a tanpura, so... "

She planned to sing some classical pieces in her jugalbandhi with Jayashri. She said when one was connecting with a cause, the more popular numbers might not be appropriate.

She related an incident where a show had been put up for war widows after the Kargil war. There were a lot of stars singing and dancing, and everyone was enjoying themselves, except the young women in the front who eventually walked out.

Both artists said they would each be bringing together raags with similar structures. "We've worked out a strategy for the performance, or it could get anarchic," assured Shubha.

Pete Locket, an internationally famous percussionist will be performing two solo sessions. His percussive skills include a wide range of genres - from Carnatic and Hindustani to blues, funk, jazz and ethnic.

He recently worked on the music for `Casino Royale', the latest Bond film, and has also worked with several international and Indian artists.

In the previous years, Basant Utsav has featured performances by Zakir Hussain, Amjad Ali Khan, Sonal Mansingh and many others.

It was initially started to raise funds for expansion of The Banyan centre at Mogappair and then for the vocational training centre.

This years collections will got towards funding the organisation's rural outreach programme at Kovalam. Vandana Gopikumar, one of the founder trustees, said they wanted to build a strong corpus for The Banyan, as they plan to stop expansions by next year and look for network partners.

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