World Music Day celebrated across Northeast

World Music Day is observed throughout the world on June 21. Though the concept of observing this day is very new in Northeast India, it has picked up tremendously within just a few years and nowadays, a number of events are organized in the region to commemorate the day.

north east express

The Rattle & Hum Society of Nagaland has been at the forefront of the celebrations as they have been touring different cities of the country in the form of the Handshake concert on June 21 every year. The concert, which kickstarted in Guwahati in 2008, reached Bangalore this year, after successful concerts in Delhi and Mumbai.

All the eight States of Northeast India observe World Music Day in their own ways, but this time around the major draw among them all would be the celebrations organized in Dimapur by NEZCC. Held in the IMC Hall of Dimapur with a strong and impressive line-up of artistes, this was undoubtedly one of the best concerts I have attended in the region in quite a while.

The evening began with a scintillating performance by Naad Brahma, a unique fusion project of Sitarist Subhankar Hazarika that involves a blend of North and South Indian classical, folk, rock, pop and jazz with the support of numerous acoustic instruments. Though initially I was a bit apprehensive about the whole project, Subhankar let his music do the talking and to dispel all doubts that might have arisen. Accompanied by his father Hem Hazarika, a pioneer of the sitar in the region, and supported by musicians from Kolkata, the deft blending of Hindustani ragas with Assamese folk and a bit of blues and jazz at Subhankar’s hands truly provided for a magical experience. The other artists included Khasi rock band Snow White, Naga fusion project Abiogenesis, rock band Alice in Wonderland and the North East Express – an experimental project of band members of Parikrama.

Timmy Kharhujon of Snow White

NE summer festival organized by Mind Blowers Club

In another part of Dimapur, the Mind Blowers Club organized another round of celebrations under the banner of North East Summer Festival. Held in the Town Hall on June 20 and 21, the grand finale of the 7th edition of the Nagaland Art Fusion contest was held on the first day. The North East Art Fusion competition, which was organized the next day, saw Assam-based rock band Filharmonix being crowned as the winners.

World Music Day was observed in Shillong for the first time by the Rocksi group in the form of the Cloud Confluence festival. The fest, which was held in the State central library auditorium, saw twenty six groups participating, including the likes of Street Stories, Colours, Dossers Urge, 11th Hour, etc. In Imphal, the celebrations coincided with the 50th birthday of renowned Tangkhul folk balladeer Raubeen Mashangva, who along with his son Saka performed some of his popular numbers in Hotel Imphal. Haraba, frontman of local rock band Fringe and Devadutta and Yumnam Sammi of Shallow River also performed on the occasion.

Cloud Confluence Festival in Shillong. Photos by organizer.

Like previous years, Rajib Rana too organized his round of yearly celebrations in Guwahati to commemorate World Music Day. Held in Shilpgram, the event saw a number of musicians and bands performing to a sizeable audience of music lovers. The thrust of the celebrations in Shilpgram was on World Music and a number of folk artistes and experimental bands performed on the occasion. Mention may be made of the performance of Jambili – an experimental Karbi folk-metal band that blends traditional Karbi music with western rock, and that of Mushtaq Ahmed on the Dotora. The Lavender Group from Shillong was also a huge favourite among the crowd.

Soulmate performs during the Handshake concert in Bangalore

Divine Connection performs in Handshake

nezcc director som kamei and nagaland addl chief secretary alemtemshi jamir felicitating the artists

Prasoon Banerjee of Naad Brahma

Alice in Wonderland

Snow White

Dina of NE Express


About Aiyushman Dutta

Who am I? Yet to find the answer. For the time being, u can call me a writer, maybe a journalist and a music entrepreneur or an errand boy! Whatever suits your fancy!

Posted on July 1, 2011, in Concerts/ Reviews, Day-to-Day, Musicians/ Bands and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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