Kolkata Fusion Fiesta Day 3: The Finale Leaves Audience Wishing for More

Ratul Shankar and Mainak
Ratul Shankar and Mainak "Bumpy" Nag Chowdhury (Sufi Rock)

Kolkata, Feb 12, 2013 (Washington Bangla Radio): The Kolkata Fusion Fiesta started with a bang on 8th February and ended on the 10th with performances by talented musicians from across the world. The fusion festival was a brainchild of Pandit Tanmoy Bose, a first of its kind festival organized in Kolkata. The theme of east-west fusion pervaded across music to food to fashion over three remarkable days. Apart from the entertainment factor, raising awareness about violence against women in India was a major goal of the festival.

Retroscape
Retroscape

The final day began with the band “Shrap” which had also performed at Band-E-Thlon. Another band from Band-E-Thlon that performed at the event was “Spoiler Alert”. Taal, a drum circle from Pune, performed after these two bands.

Retroscape’ took the stage next with “Radha”, and followed it up with a Qawali-based song "Kabhi kisise dil laga ke to dekho" that the band members had first heard from Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The band's interpretation of the song was remarkable. They next performed one of their most popular numbers: “Exfoliation”.

Otava Yo (Russia)

Otava Yo (Russia)
Otava Yo (Russia)

Next up was a ‘Otava Yo’ from Russia.

The Russian band connected with the audience despite the language barrier, and their music was well appreciated, reinforcing the adage that music knows no boundaries. After greeting the audience with  “Namaste Kolkata”, they performed a Russian dance song, followed by Russian gothic and then a lullaby. Otava Yo were playing for the first time in a fusion festival and they expressed their excitement clearly came from their heartst. Carlos Gonzalves from Goa joined them on stage on drums. To bring in an Indian flavor, the Russian group had composed a song about a lady washing her feet in the river Ganges. Also remembering their origins from playing on the streets, they played a song that they used to play in those days.

Sufi Rock was up next on stage, featuring Ratul Shankar, son of Mamata Shankar, and Mainak "Bumpy" Nag Chowdhury of Kendraka. The band members played a composition titled "Endless River" which is inspired by Ananda Shankar's “River”. Eminent Sufi performers Gulam Fakir and Akash Bhai also performed with the band. Carlos Gonzalves once again accompanied with drums. Mamata Shankar was present in the audience and was visibly delighted.

Varun and Ratul Shankar (Sufi Rock)
Varun and Ratul Shankar (Sufi Rock)

Sufi Rock

Sufi Rock

Sufi Rock
Sufi Rock

Mother Jane, a rock band from Kochi, was the next performer. The band consists of John Thomas, Clyde Rozario, Deepu Sasidharan, Santhosh Chandran and Vivek Thomas. Following them was the performance by Prem Joshua and his band.

The closing band of Kolkata Fusion Fiesta 2013 was Taaltantra. This group combines the best of Jazz with Indian classical and folk and the end result was magical.

The three days of fun and fiesta with fusion music, food and fashion will linger long among the hearts and minds of those fortunate to have attended the memorable event. We look forward to many more such events in Kolkata as the city strives to reclaim it's prominent position in India and the world.

Mamata Shankar and Tanmoy Bose
Mamata Shankar and Tanmoy Bose (Regret the poor picture quality as incoming from the reporter)

- Reporting by Priyanka Dutta (newsdesk.kolkata@washingtonbanglaradio.com)