Article by Shirish Nene
A Midsummer Musical Mélange
A historical event, 1st Two and Half Days DC South Asian Music Festival in DC Metro Area
Looking for something unique that you, your family, and friends will all enjoy? New to the area and would like to make new friends? Want something exciting, soothing, new, yet familiar? Well, mark your calendars for July 21 – 23 this year for a special treat at the DC South Asian Musical Festival (DCSAMF) in the lovely Wheaton High School Auditorium, 12401 Dalewood Dr, Silver Spring, MD 20906. Free parking. Your only challenge is which of the delicious vendor food offerings to choose from.
Pooja Shah Talwar introduces Sarod virtuoso and composer Amjad Ali Khan and sons Ayaan and Amaan draw you into magic of this instrument on opening night. Amjad Ali Khan’s sahib’s ancestors played a role in inventing the sarod. City of Gwalior in State of Madhya Pradesh India has Sarod Museum. You will understand why Massachusetts is fascinated by his art that it declared April 20 Amjad Ali Khan Day.
Your host for the weekend is Reema Kapani. Saturday, be prepared for an amazingly varied array of talent. Our judges have mined hidden gems right from the community. Discover them for yourself in the Amateur Singing Contest.
Indian classical music recognizes the human voice as one of the most sophisticated musical instruments. Pandit Vishwas Shirgaonkar’s entrancing vocals will have you heartily agreeing. Rising high school senior and sitar adept Kanjonavo Sabud proves that unlike wine, age is not the primary criterion for amazing musical talent. The students from internationally renowned sitar player Alif Laila’s Sitar Niketan will further cement this understanding. The sitar, oud, tabla, and arb percussion take you on travels beyond the traditional. Your guides: Alif Laila, tabla maestro Anubrata Chatterjee, composer, vocalist, and oud player Laith Alattar, and Arab percussionist and dervish dancer Khaled Al Mouiloui. Harsh Khinchi’s sitar counterpoints Sid Lahiri’s guitar in an East-West juxtaposition with Harsh’s ghazals to add spice. The queen of ghazals, Vatsala Mehra closes the night leaving you no doubt as to why the Kennedy Center has featured her in four separate programs.
Buckle your seat belts as Sunday afternoon opens with DMV Fankaar in a rollicking Bollywood journey of music and dance. Emcee Kartikeya Tripathi introduces Shilpa Sharma, Sangeeta Mathur Simlote, Alok Srivastava, Farid Mahmood, Parasuram Iyer, and Sunila Bali and the dance troupes from Lasya Dance Academy. The Infusion band blends famous Southeast Asian and Western music in a modernist palette.
Grammy award winning artist Falu Shah has collaborated with world-famous artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Wyclef Jean, Philip Glass, Ricky Martin, Blues Traveler and A. R. Rahman amongst others. Now experience for yourself her rare blend of a modern inventive style with a vocal talent with deep roots in the Indian classical tradition. Saturday and Sunday offer a la carte ticket purchases per program or an incredible $39 all-day pass. Whether you are a South Asian music afficionado or just wanting to discover its rich diversity, you’re your tickets at https://dcsaaci.org/welcome-to-dcsamf-2023/ . This first of its kind of event is one you will not want to miss. Bring your friends and make a lot of new ones this summer.
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