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Thursday, February 3, 2011
Arts & Entertainment

Dhaka World Music Fest 2011

Harmony in Diversity

Clockwise from Top-Left: Labik Kamal Gourob, Soothsayers, Lalon, Dele Sosimi Band

It won't be an exaggeration to say that most of the contemporary Bangladeshi bands are under the somewhat overarching influence of various forms of rock. Who would have thought about a festival that would feature internationally renowned artistes from various corners of the world offering sounds that are not within the usual boundaries of rock? Dhaka World Music Festival (DWMF) 2011 is doing just that. The two-day festival kicks off at 4pm on February 4 at Sultana Kamal Mohila Krira Complex, in Dhanmondi.

World Music, a genre that usually refers to traditional, folk, and non-western music from various regions of the world, or a fusion of diverse forms, includes Bangladeshi traditional music as well.

Alongside some of our local bands and artistes, DWMF will feature a remarkably assorted selection of bands from around the world.

The festival will bring together the eclectic grooves and hypnotic rhythms of Cuban-funk, Afro-beat, Baul, Reggae, Pala and Bangla-Afro-Latin fusion in Dhaka for the first time.

Bangla fusion, Baul and Pala music alongside the rich array of melodies emanating from Cuba, Nigeria, Jamaica and England, make this two day long musical extravaganza unique.

The festival's vision, conceptualised and spearheaded by Runi Khan of Culturepot Global (UK), is to secure a sustainable place for Bangladesh's musical heritage in the global cultural arena. It opens up a meaningful two way musical dialogue between Bangladesh and the world.

The following bands and artistes will perform at the event:

Dele Sosimi, the famed Afro beat keyboard player, is considered one of the originators of this West African art form.

Soothsayers, a South London collective led by saxophonist Idris Rahman and trumpeter Robin Hopcraft, famed for their organic mix of Reggae, Afro funk and urban jazz, has a truly infectious sound.

Lokkhi Terra, a Bangladeshi band bridging continents with its unique blend of styles covering Bangla folk to Cuban Rumba to Afro jazz and funk, is led by pianist Kishon Khan.

Motimba will bring the sounds of Cuba to Dhaka. Fronted by singer Javier Camilo, the band also features Oreste Noda and Jimmy Martinez.

Bangladeshi band Lalon is fronted by singer Sumi. Charismatic and involving, the band's Bangla folk rock fusion is a fine homage to the great Lalon Shai.

Shah Jahan Munshi and Rob Fakir are recognised as two of the finest exponents of the Baul tradition. From bluesy undertones to hypnotic trance, they are keeping the tradition alive and relevant to today's generation.

Ajob, another outstanding home-grown band fronted by the multi-talented Gaurob, combines classic and contemporary -- pushing the boundaries of baul/folk rock fusion.

Spiritual Bangla folk of Baby Akhtar O Tar Dol, supported by one of Bangladesh's leading musicians Nazrul Islam, is funky and moving at the same time.

Porobashi, revitalising the art of Pala music, features the expressive voice of Sumel.

Guest artiste, Tunde Jegede, a composer and multi-instrumentalist who is uniquely placed among the worlds of contemporary classical, African and popular music, will perform on the tora.

The festival is being sponsored by Grameenphone.

Culturepot Global, UK, Jatrik Travels, Excalibur Entertainment and Symbiance Partners are jointly organising the event.

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