Rajasthan fest to showcase fusion of Indian, western music

August 12th, 2011 - 9:40 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) The Indian music from the countryside and Rajasthan’s desert will meet cross-cultural western notes at the five-day Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF), said the festival patron Gaj Singh Friday.

The festival is one of India’s biggest celebration of folk music. It will be held at Jodhpur Oct 12-16.

Nearly 150 musicians, including traditional “bhopa” musicians, tribal Bheel performers, folk instrumentalists, beat-boxers, Latino and Gypsy performers, will assemble to showcase their art at the 550-year-old Mehrangarh Fort, the venue of the festival.

“Jodhpur RIFF has over the years focused on the richest folk music of Rajasthan, projecting the performers as talented and versatile musicians alongside the best in the world,” said Gaj Singh, former ruler of the Jodhpur-Marwar princely state while announcing the RIFF.

The spotlight of the festival will be on the fusion of eastern and western folk music.

The director of the festival, Divya Bhatia said: “The festival at core is spiritual but its outlook is holistic, featuring the best of traditional and contemporary global roots music.”

The cast of the festival is an eclectic mix.

It features folk legends like Bhopa exponent Bhanwari Devi, a tribal Langa musician Kader Khan Langa, morchang exponent Raeis Khan, vocalist Munshi Khan, Sufi musician Kavita Seth and the British fusion folk band Dharohar, led by Jason Singh.

The western attraction of the festival is Rupa and The April Fishes, a neo-contemporary band from the San Francisco Bay Area. It embodies the pluralistic sounds of the Mission District of the Bay Area, which is a confluence of the 2,000-year-old Yelamu Indians, Spanish missionaries, old Irish families, Hispanics, Asians and Africans.

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