Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival on is here!
IMAGENATION to drive positive social change through music
September 25, 2014; Shillong/Guwahati: IMAGENATION is all set to sway Shillong with yet another of its bold initiative – the Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival that will be held at U Soso Tham Auditorium on September 27, 2014. Supported by the Department of Arts and Culture, Government of Meghalaya, the Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival will bring 30 renowned musicians from across the country to sing about peace, hope and reconciliation, providing wholesome entertainment and bringing everyone together through music. Other associates for the event are Asian Confluence, Hotel Polo Towers, NIIT, etc.
The performance line-up for the Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival includes some of the most celebrated music bands in the Blues and Jazz scenario like Lou Majaw, 4th Element, Rudy Wallang Band featuring Andrea, Fringes, Arjun Sen, M Trio, Ronojit Chaliha, Adiel Massar, Plan B, Parvati La Cantante, etc.
Speaking to the media at the press club today, Ian Khongmen, Imagenation, said, “The Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival is just a drop in the ocean of music, but it brings together extraordinary musicians who are committed to and have made this art form a way of life. They come in all shades and colours, from the metros Delhi, Kolkata and mainland India to collaborate and run in the same groove with their brethren from the Northeast.”
“Blues & Jazz is but an evolution of the music culture. It is symbolic of our times and indeed breathes life into the music industry and still remains the foundation of a tradition that has evolved for many years”, he adds.
Music is in the DNA of Shillong, and what better way to celebrate this musical spirit, than recognizing the music heritage of Shillong. The Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival is a tribute to the music of Shillong and an attempt to honour musicians all over who are connected by a common thread of passion in music.
Shillong’s very own Lou Majaw, who was also present on the occasion, expressed his excitement in being associated with this event. “’Music is life… Life is music… Bare your soul for music… where else but the Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival! – Lou pensively expresses amidst the cacophony and hustle and bustle.
The SB&J Festival endeavours to drive local change, promote self confidence, create economic value, generate positive thinking and promote reconciliation through quality music. The festival aims at being a catalyst of positive change for one and all. Briefly, it seeks to spread the message of peace through music.
Commenting on the Shillong Blues & Jazz festival, Jazz pianist Ronojit Chaliha spoke, “This one of a kind festival is a great opportunity for the people of Shillong and Guwahati to have an idea of what Jazz and Blues sound like in a live setting with spontaneous improvisation. I expect this festival to get audiences interested and curious to know more about this form of music. It’s a great start!”
A member of Kolkata based Jazz band Plan B says, “Plan B comes from a part of the country where, unfortunately, cover music rules. The audience is stuck in a time warp, so it’s been doubly difficult to be ‘heard’ performing live original music. Hence, it gives us the greatest pleasure to have been invited to perform our own brand of jazz-pop, blues and country-rock compositions, songs and tunes that are very special to us, at the Shillong Blues and Jazz Festival.”
Besides the performances, there will be various other surprises in store for the audience. Among them will be the SB&J Festival’s food court, which will tickle the taste buds of the audience by dishing out Chinese, Naga, Malaysian and authentic Khasi food. There is also a surprise for the foodies, well wishers and passer-byes.
Prior to this event, Imagenation has organized various popular events in the city, such as Bob Dylan celebration, Free ur Mind, Rock the Republic, Street Plays, Road Shows and other similar activations.
Performers at Shillong Blues and Jazz Festival
– Lou Majaw needs no introduction. With an unmatched musical career spanning 50 years, he is the performer, the entertainer and the central character in Shillong’s enduring romance with music. Age has not limited Lou’s love and passion for music.
– Ronojit Chaliha is a Jazz Pianist who trained with a renowned Piano Pedagogue, Roxana Anklesaria-Doctor. He is currently involved in Adil Manuel’s project in Delhi and performs regularly in cities like Mumbai (Café Zoe, Blue Frog), Delhi (Delhi Jazz Fest) and Pune (Shisha Jazz Café). He has also had the honour of performing at the Caux Palace in Switzerland and has worked with various Jazz musicians from across the Americas and Europe.
– Adiel Massar started playing Cello at the age of 14. He was under the tutelage of Austrian Cellist, Eva Itzlinger who briefly helped him and is one of the few Cellists in India who plays a rare combination of both, Western Classical and Jazz. He is currently playing Cello for the North-Eastern Jazz Collective and has played with many great musicians like F.A. Talafaral, a renowned Saxophonist from Madagascar, Karan Joseph, an upcoming Jazz Piano player from Mumbai and Cesare Picco, a Pianist from Italy.
– The Rudy Wallang Band is a natural progression for a musician who deserves plaudits for his natural skills with the guitar. Another homegrown Shillong icon who has made a mark in the Blues genre all over, Rudy Wallang is another persona in the endearing love story with music. A performer par excellence at international platforms, he takes the home stage this time in his nom de plume, together with pedigree, surprising one and all.
– 4th Element are Sarah, Ribor, Amit, Jeff and the one and only Sam Shullai. Their music a mix of funk jazz and blues transcends barriers to brighten up any music aficionado’s dull day. The synergy of Sarah’s sublime vocals, Ribor’s keys, Amits and Jeffs riffs and Sam’s excellence on the percussion says it all. You won’t want to miss this music!
– Fringes is a blues experimental band from Manipur. Fringes is a blend of both young and old. It is young in the sense that the members have come together under the banner recently in the winter of 2010. The name of the band denotes the predicament existence of being at the margins and yet rooted to the core of an evolution. The band believes that art is an offshoot of the living reality, not created in vacuum. Fringes band members also grew up exposed to this environment. They opted western music in its form and infuses it with organic reality of contemporary Manipur in content.
– M-Trio is a three piece band from Guwahati with Manasquam Mahanta on Guitars, Pritam Boro on Keyboards and Partho Boro on Drums.
– Plan B is a Jazz band from Kolkata. It plays Saturday nights at Someplace Else at The Park, Kolkata. Plan B has performed pan-India. They were recently invited to perform at the highly-acclaimed Windmills Craftworks in Bangalore.
– Parvati La Cantante from Delhi is the surprise draw for the SB& J Festival. She sings many languages and together with Pranai Gurung on the guitar is amazing. Parvati La Cantante sings one of the most amazing set of covers and along with the simple medley of electronic guitar, the experience will surely be simply ecstatic.