A deluge of global musicians to take centre-stage

A deluge of global musicians to take centre-stage
Highlights

Jaipur is once again set to dance to the beat of world class musicians as the annual ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival brings together an eclectic line up of artists. The music performances will take place at two locations, the Font Lawns at Diggi Palace in the morning and the Music Stage at Hotel Clarks Amer in the evening as part of the world’s largest free literary festival this month from January 21-25.

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival

Jaipur is once again set to dance to the beat of world class musicians as the annual ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival brings together an eclectic line up of artists. The music performances will take place at two locations, the Font Lawns at Diggi Palace in the morning and the Music Stage at Hotel Clarks Amer in the evening as part of the world’s largest free literary festival this month from January 21-25.

Opening the festival will be local Rajasthani musicians Nathoo Solanki, Chugge Khan and the Jaisalmer Boys who will mark the start of five days of festivities at Diggi Palace. They will be joined on stage by local dancers and performers as well as Sonam Kaira & The Sufi Gospel Project. Opening the second morning of the festival will be Vocal Raasta, a cappella group of 15 young singers from Delhi whose music is based on the theme Freedom of Expression.

Classically trained in the Patiala Gayaka, Indira Naik’s music is a tribute to age old traditions set against the backdrop of modern times. She will perform music from her new spiritual album ‘Ekoham’ on January 23 at Diggi Palace. Folk fans will be able to enjoy Malini Awasthi as she eases festival goers into the weekend with her mellifluous renditions of Dradra, Kajri, Jhoola, Holi and Chaiti, Sohar music along with many other musical styles on January 24. The last day of the festival will feature Rashmi Agarwal who has carved out a niche for herself as an accomplished Sufi and Ghazal singer.

Kick-starting the evening music programme will be The Unorthodox and Unprecedented Preacher who will take to the stage with sitar virtuoso Sheema Mukherjee to tell transglobalised versions of stunning, 2,000 year old tales. Local Rajasthani musicians Nathoo Solanki, Chugge Khan and the Jaisalmer Boys will open the music stage at Hotel Clarks Amer. Joined by local dancers and musicians, including the show-stopping whirling Queen Harish, they promise to have the crowd dancing long into the night.

Also appearing on the opening night will be the Alim Qasimov Ensemble, presented in association with Aga Khan Music Initiative who will bring the spiritual sounds of Azerbaijan to Clarks. Qasimov was awarded the prestigious IMC–UNESCO International Music Prize for Performers – the same award received in previous years by Ravi Shankar, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Yehudi Menuhin, and Benny Goodman.

The second evening of the festival will see BBC World Music Award winners Transglobal Underground take the stage. The London-based music collective specialise in a fusion of western, oriental and African music styles. They will be joined at Clarks by festival favourites Jaipur’s Bharat Brass Band and Fanfara Tirana which consists members of the military band of the Albanian armed forces, who mix Albanian traditional music, Balkan beats, dub reggae and jazz together for a unique blend of Balkan funk.

Also playing on January 22 will be author Jeet Thayil’s ongoing music project Still Dirty featuring Tanuja Desai Hidier and Gaurav Vaz, which originated in Berlin. This New Delhi edition will take shape with the inclusion of Anup Kutty (Menwhopause), Tony Guinard (Ska Vengers), Shiv Ahuja (Five8), Shardul Mehta (Joint Family) and various musicians from the city's independent music scene.

As night falls on Friday evening, Dub Colossus will keep the crowd warm, dancing along to their mix of jazz, funky grooves and a little bit of Afrobeat thrown in for good measure. The five-piece collective will play hits from their highly acclaimed fourth album Addis to Omega. Also playing at Clarks in the evening of January 23 will be internationally celebrated Pakistani folk singer Sain Zahoor, supported by the Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop.

Recognised for his mastery of the Iktara, a traditional single stringed instrument, he will be the second BBC World Music Award winner to play the festival in 2015. Closing the Clarks Amer music venue on Saturday evening, and providing a rouse finale will be Rizwan Muazzan Qawals, supported by The Royal Norwegian Embassy. They perform traditional music sung in Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Punjabi.

Also joining the closing night line-up will be Midival Punditz, the most influential and in-demand electronica outfit in India today, whose producing credits include tracks featured on some of the Bollywood soundtracks such as Don, Chak De and Karthik Calling Karthik. Indian Ocean’s Susmit Sen will release his new memoir Ocean to Ocean at the festival, which documents the life and times of this rare musician and composer. Shanti Raman will discuss the Nath Jogi traditions of Rajasthan with musicologist John Napier. They will be joined on stage by Jogi performer Kishori.

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