Been Players (Snake Charmer Flutes)

Over 16 “Joginath”, snake charmers clad in colorful saffron turbans and bright attire, perform with their Beens, Thumbas and Khanjaris – folk musical instruments. This age old tradition of the been (Snake Charmer Flutes) has been revived under the able guidance of Shishanath Sapera.

Bagpipers Shyopat Julia and Company

Having inherited the bagpipe music tradition from his Band master father, Shyopat Julia creates a unique musical bonanza performing with his son and local musicians on the jhankar, dhol and chimta – local musical instruments.

Rajasthani Josh Group

Rajasthani Musicians Nathoo Lal Solanki, Chugge Khan and accompanists’ multi-layered talents extend to an inclusive sound of traditional Rajasthani Folk. Strains of the nagara, shehnai, dhol , sarangi, kamaicha, kartal and morchang merge to create a medley of rich folk and tribal musical.


22 January

Jeet Thayil & Suheir Hammad- Poetry & Reading

Jeet Thayil is a poet, novelist and musician. His four poetry collections include These Errors Are Correct, and English. He is one half of the contemporary music project, Sridhar/Thayil.
Suheir Hammad is a Palestinian-American poet, author and political activist. Her work weaves a common narrative of dispossession, not only in her capacity as an immigrant, a Palestinian and a Muslim, but as a woman struggling against sexism. When hip-hop entrepreneur Russel Simmons came across her piece,First Writing Since, a poem describing her reaction to the September 11 attacks, he signed her to a deal with HBO’s ‘Def Poetry Jam’.

Omar Bin Musa – Rapper

Omar Bin Musa is a rapper and poet from Queanbeyan, Australia and is of Malaysian-Australian heritage. He has won numerous awards for poetry and music, including the Australian Poetry Slam and the Indian Ocean Poetry Slam. He has released a book of poetry and two hip-hop albums recorded in the USA and has toured throughout Asia, Europe and Australia, doing Writers’ Festivals and hip-hop shows.

Ali Sethi

Poetry/Reading Ali Sethi grew up in a family of journalists and publishers. He has written reviews and articles for various publications; local and international. He co-produced and narrated a documentary on student politics in Pakistan. The Wish Maker is his debut novel. Ali currently lives in Lahore.

Salman Ahmad – Music

Salman Ahmad is a musician from Pakistan. He was part of Junoon, South Asia’s biggest and longest-lasting rock band. He continues to perform as a solo artist and released the album, Infiniti, in 2005.

Bant Singh- Music

Bant Singh is a singer of revolutionary poetry and is known as the living icon of Dalit resistance in Punjab. In January 2006, he was mercilessly beaten up, leading to the amputation of his two arms and one leg, on successfully getting a conviction for a Jat for raping his daughter in Punjab. His famous words when he lost his limbs were, “They have not cut my tongue, I can still sing.” Giving voice to his favorite poet, Sant Ram Udasi, and some of his own verses, Bant sings songs of social change and justice.

Madan Gopal Singh- Sufi /Folk Music

Madan Gopal Singh is a singer, composer, lyricist and scriptwriter. He has lectured and performed extensively in India and abroad. He is currently working on Indian film music as a Senior Fellow of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi.

Sian Zahoor- Folk/ Fusion Music

Sian is a leading Sufi musician from Pakistan. He spent his life singing in the Sufi shrines, and in 2006, he was nominated for the BBC World Music awards as the “Best BBC voice of the year”. Sian cannot read or write but is known for his memory of song lyrics; he sings compositions of the major Sufi poets, Bulleh Shah, Mullah Shah Badakhshi, Muhammad Buksh, and others.


23 January

Gafaruddin Mewati – Story telling

Mewati’s ‘Pandoon ke Kade’ is the traditional Mewati recital of a Muslim version of the Mahabharata. Mewati has nurtured this unbroken oral heritage which dates back to the 17th century. He performs with his young grandson, Shahrukh, and other musicians.

Vidya Shah: Women on Record – Indian Vocals

Women on Record highlights a significant moment in India’s cultural history and celebrates the contributions of women singers in the Gramophone era. The scripted performances use a multiplicity of media such as photography & video, to explore the world of performance and technology in early 20th century India. It is a multi-media experience which recreates the aesthetic ambiance of the time. Vidya Shah is a composer, musician, and writer. She is the Director of Women on Record and is the recipient of the Charles Wallace Award for 2010.

Mian Meeri Quwaals – Qawwali

The acclaimed Quawaali Group was formed in 1979 in Pakistan. Mahboob Ahmad and Quawwals recite the kalam of famous sufi saint’s like Hazrat Jaami, Ameer Khusro and Baba Bulley Shah. Mahboob Ahmad Mian Miri Qawal recites the Qawali at the Shrine of Hazrat Mian Mir.

Outer India Ecstasy – By Susheela Raman and Sam Mills

Londoner Susheela Raman is one of the most interesting musicians to emerge amongst the South Asian Diaspora, equally at home with South Indian Classical as with Jimi Hendrix and Fela Kuti, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Aretha Franklin. As a composer, arranger and interpreter she has forged her own unique sound. Accompanied by Rajasthani Musicians; Nathoo Lal Solanki, Chugge Khan, Aref Durvesh, Johnny Turnbull and Kutla Khan, & the Mian Meeri Quwaals, Susheela’s multi-layered vocals create an inclusive sound of traditional Rajasthani Folk, Qawwali and rare South Indian Raga.

24 January

Fire Exit- Progressive Alternative Rock

To categorize, Fire Exit is a young band that plays “Progressive Alternative Rock”. However, the group believes it falls in the category of bands that are almost impossible to categorize under one single genre of music. Their music is a combination of rock, metal and electronic sounds. Their focus as a band is to create a sound unique to the band, with varied styles of rock, metal and psychedelic.

Transglobal Underground

London based Music collective Transglobal Underground is a London-based music collective who specialize in a fusion of western, oriental and African music styles. Their singleTemple Head was used in a Coca-Cola advertising campaign for the 1996 Olympic Games. In 2008 they won the BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music after the release of their seventh official album, Moonshout.

Natacha Atlas

Daughter of an Arabic father and an English mother, singer-composer Natacha Atlas grew up in a Moroccan neighborhood in the suburbs of Brussels. She’s been rightly hailed for a mostly daring, exploratory series of Western and Middle Eastern hybrid music that have traipsed across the electronic-world-dance spectrum to reach a full flowering on 2008’s celebrated acoustic orchestral albumAna Hina. Her latest album, Mounqaliba was released recently.

Cheb i Sabbah accompanied by Ghalia and Coleena

DJ/Singer/Dancer Cheb i Sabbah has made a career out of blending music from all over the world into kaleidoscopic, dance-floor mixes ever since. His first three albums for Six Degrees Records, Shri Durga, MahaMaya – Shri Durga ReMixed and Krishna Lila are cult classics in which India’s time-honored traditions merge with the universe of possibilities afforded by contemporary recording technology. His fourth release was a continuous DJ mix entitled As Far As, on which the traditions of Asia, Arabia and Africa.
Colleena Shakti is a dancer of great depth and subtlety. She has dedicated her life to dance ever since moving to India to undergo intensive training in Odissi Classical dance as well as research and document Rajasthani ‘Gypsy’ dance. Colleena lives most of the year in Rajasthan and tours internationally (performing and teaching) each summer.

25 January

Jaipur Kawa Brass Band

With a fantastic energy and humor, the artists of this gypsy brass band play the clarinet and trumpet on stage and walk in parade and offer nothing less than the soul of the contemporary Indian.

Shye Ben Tzur- Sufi

An Israeli composer and performer, Shye’s music has Rajasthani rhythms and western sounds. With devotional Sufi poetry in Urdu, Hindi and Hebrew, his music takes traditional trance a step ahead into a modern Ecstasy.

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