Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival sets a new benchmark for next generation musicians in Shillong



Parvati La Cantante from Delhi performing at Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival 2014


September 27, 2014; Shillong: IMAGENATION took the musical spirit of Shillong to a whole new level today as they organized Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival at the U Soso Tham Auditorium in the city. Supported by the Department of Arts and Culture, Government of Meghalaya, the Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival brought together 30 renowned musicians from across the country on a single platform 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 included some of the most celebrated music bands in the Blues and Jazz scenario. The festival opened with the performance of Shillong’s very own Lou Majaw and his friends, who entertained the audience with their best known hits. This performance was followed by Guwahati’s three-piece band M-Trio, blues experimental band Fringes, celebrated jazz pianist Ronojit Chaliha with Cello player Adiel Massar, funk jazz and blues band 4th Element, Shillong based Blues icon Rudy Wallang and Andrea, Parvati La Cantante from Delhi and came to an end with Plan B’s jazz-pop, blues and country-rock compositions.


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.

On the occasion Lou Majaw said, “Music has no boundaries. My vision is to promote peace, harmony and brotherhood through my songs and music. We musicians treat our musical instrument as our arms and amenities to combat terrorism. This is our way of contributing towards peace as a musician.”

“I fail to understand the madness behind terrorism. My song – ‘Well well well’ speaks my feelings when I see no sun on waking up in this world of terror. But life must go on”, added Lou Majaw.

Haraba, the vocalist of Imphal based Blues band – ‘Fringes’ is very excited with the initiative of Imagenation. Explaining about the nature of ‘Blues’, he said, “Through this form of music we can express our life’s experience and feelings. This form of the music is all about story telling of things happening in your surroundings.”

‘Such initiatives by government give platform and meaning to our band and culture.” he added speaking on the initiative of Imagenation.

Delhi based singer, Parvati La Cantante, was very excited to be part of the Blues & Jazz Festival. On her maiden visit to Shillong she said, “We have never been in a town where music is so important, it is like the life blood of Shillong. The air is all about music, there is a rhythm in the air that I love. These musicians Lou, AJ and Rudy have huge influences on my life, I have grown up listening to them perform. I have never imagined coming to Shillong as a musician, I feel really honoured to be invited to perform at the SB&J.”

About her performance, Parvati adds, “The set that we performed is a mix of all the songs that we enjoyed doing. There are influences of Jazz, R&B and little bit of side trance to make it a little peppy.  We did not want to limit our scope to just guitar and vocals, so we have tried to broaden up our horizon with these additions.”


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 Indonesian, Chinese, Naga and authentic Khasi food.


There was also an amazing art installation at the venue as a part of a contest, where the visitors can take selfies with the installation and upload it on the festival’s Facebook page. The person uploading the best selfie will get a special gift autographed by all the performers of SB&J Festival.


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.


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