Tuesday, June 30, 2009

1st Annual Brisbane Indian Music Festival

On Saturday I took part in the 1st Annual Brisbane Indian Music Festival, organised by Rahim Zullah's SaReGaMa School of Indian Music in collaboration with Harmony Support Links of Ipswich. The event was held in Ahimsa House, West End, and brought together a number of acts ranging from Rahim's students to professional artists like sitar player Saikat Bhattacharya and tabla players Dheeraj Shrestha and myself.

In a sense the event was like an upgrade of last year's SaReGaMa School Concert, and to be a true Brisbane Indian Music Festival I would like to see some other of Brisbane's professional ICM artists and maybe even a touring artist. But that's my only criticism and I should focus on the great start Rahim and co have made to establishing an Indian Classical festival in Brisbane.

I was very lucky to perform 5 times on the night. I accompanied dhrupad singer Yuki Taniguchi in the afternoon section, then opened the evening session with my tabla solo (accompanied on harmonium by Yuki-chan). I met singer Hari Bhakti Dey for the first time and accompanied his bhajans impromptu, and at the end of the night accompanied main artist Saikat Bhattacharya (sitar) in his solo and a duet with vocalist Rahim Zullah. I had a ball!

Francis Gilfedder (bansuri) with Ravikesh Singh (tabla)

Vidushi Lal (vocal) with Ravikesh Singh (tabla) and Rahim Zullah (harmonium)

Yuki Taniguchi (Dhrupad vocal) with Shen Flindell (tabla)
(Thanks to Christelle Wehrmuller for the photo.)

Rahim Zullah (Sufi music) with Ravikesh Singh and Waheed Popil (tabla)

Shen Flindell (tabla solo) with Yuki Taniguchi (harmonium lehera)

Namita Debroy's Nritya Bharati School of Kathak Dance

Rinki Bala of Nritya Bharati School of Kathak Dance

Vivek Narottam (vocal) with Dheeraj Shrestha (tabla) and Rahim Zullah (harmonium)
Vivek is a very impressive singer, especially for his age!

Hari Bhakti Dey (bhajan) with Shen Flindell (tabla)

Indo-Irish Fusion with Bennadet Gill and Rahim Zullah

Asad Basit (vocal) with Rahim Zullah (harmonium), Ravi Welsh (jazz guitar) and Waheed Popil (tabla)

Yusuf Ali Khan (vocal) with Rahim Zullah (harmonium), Ravi Welsh (jazz guitar) and Ravikesh Singh (tabla)

Saikat Bhattacharya (sitar) and Rahim Zullah (vocal) with Shen Flindell (tabla)

The main item: Saikat Bhattacharya (sitar) with Shen Flindell (tabla)

The finale: Rahim Zullah (vocal, ghazal) with Saikat (sitar) and Dheeraj Shrestha (tabla)

Feridun's Sunday afternoon world music sessions

My good friend Feridun Avar, a talented Turkish singer and instrumentalist, has been having world music sessions at Cafe Checocho in West End on Sunday afternoons lately.

Winter Solstice Festival

Just a couple of quick snaps from the Winter Solstice Festival at Northey St Community Farm, June 20. They had 2 stages set up from afternoon til night with a variety of bands, and lots of food grown on the farm (in the middle of Brisbane). At 10pm the stages closed and my friend Elliott and his African drumming band Spankinhide led the whole crowd to another area around a bonfire which was lit with a small ceremony and then danced around gleefully.