Bangla Qawwali by Murshidabadi Project will be an unique feature at the three day ‘Songs On White Sand’ (SOWS) festival in Gujarat’s famous Rann of Kutch beginning January 25.
This will be the first performance of the lesser known form of the traditional Qawwali, outside of West Bengal, when the Murshidabadi Project band will be experimenting, tinkering with different genres and performing them in their own unique style.
The Murshidabadi project will be one of the six bands performing during the SOWS festival. The others are ‘Mukt’, Musica Collaborative, Folk Masti from Mumbai, Folk Foundatioin from Kolkata and Folk Box from Ahmedabad.
“This will be probably the first time where the traditional Qawwali from West Bengal, the Bangla Qawwali, will be performed outside Bengal. We are enthralled at having such wonderful musicians like the Murshidabadi Project performing at the festival.
“Besides them, there will be other five such bands performing at the fest. We have even made it open for all event… everybody visiting the Rann of Kutch will be entertained,” said Nishith Mehta, the Curator, SOWS and founder/director of MusicaFest.
The bands would perform fusion of the rich and vibrant folk music of Kutch — tribal music of India fused with modern music genres like Indian Rock.
“Last season, we had three bands performing with us and this time it will be six. We will be adding up our performers and we hope to make the SOWS a regular part of the Rann Utsav,” added Mehta.
The fusion will be created by these groups and by the live performances of traditional vocalists like Mooralala Marwada, Dipannita Acharya and Hiral Brahmbhatt.
Besides India Rock, the fusion will also reflect the vast world of Latin, Afro, Jazz, Blues, Funk, Reggae, Rock and Pop genres, giving it a unique sound.
The festival will end on January 27, as it comes up during the month long dessert festival, Rann Utsav at the Tent City.
“Last year, we had around 20 thousand visitors and this time we expect that figure to hike by 25 per cent.
“Overall we have an occupancy rate of 65 per cent, but most of our visitors comprise of that during the Rann Utsav.
“The SOWS initiative provides a unique platform for the traditional folk music and also the upcoming and lesser known Indian musical groups to get on one stage,” said Niral Patel, the manager of Tent City.