The Inescapable: Udaipur World Music Festival 2017

“Music is a piece of art that goes in the ears and straight to the heart”. From past two years, the beauty of Udaipur is enhanced by the Udaipur World Music Festival (UWMF). Music lovers around the world flock to the beauteous City Of Lakes to experience the thrilling sounds of various artists. This year was marked with the second edition of the festival with 150 music artists from over 16 countries that united together to present a music that was beyond the barriers of language or genre of music.

Sponsored by Hindustan Zinc in association with Wonder Cement and Rajasthan Tourism, the Fest was conceptualized and produced by SEHER. It was a three-day event which unfolded in two phases each day; from 3 pm to 5 pm in the afternoon on the side of the scenic Lake Fatehsagar where two or three artists of different genres played for the audience and the second phase at the Gandhi Ground which commenced at 7 pm each day. It was indeed a glorious segment for Udaipur which was a great dais for the artists to showcase their music; raining ecstasy for the revelers who came to see the fest.

The Day One: When ‘Bam Lehri’ stole the show!

The fervor that ran through the audience by the performances of the various artists on the first day was a sight not to be missed. The first day was marked by diverse music genres performing on a single stage at Gandhi Ground. As it was commenced excellently by the musicians from Mozambique, Norway, Sweden and Zimbabwe, the band called them “Monoswezi”. As we met them backstage after their performance, upon asking about their experience after playing for a totally different audience, their response was, “It was a great experience for all of us and we were obliged and happy to play for such an enthusiastic crowd”.

The next performance following Monoswezi was an Iranian American Singer Azam Ali with her band Niyaz who introduced the people of Udaipur to the Electro Sufi Music. A Sufi dancer named Tanya accompanied them who danced on the rhythms and impeccable vocals of Azam Ali as she recited the poem (Aurat) of an eminent Urdu poet ‘Kaifi Azami’. She sang in Persian and Urdu language and her music was packed with immense peace and tranquility.

Their music is an epitome of the fact that music is a universal language; not requiring human languages to convey their message.

The final performance was by the very famous Indian Sufi Singer Kailash Kher with his band Kailasa. They, with their power packed performance, set the stage on fire and the audience was at the apex of energy and enthusiasm. They played some of their famous tracks concluding with their much famous song ‘Bum Lehri’.

The Day Two Afternoon: The Reincarnation of Saint Kabir’s Couplets

Completely mesmerized by the previous day performances the star-struck audience gathered for the second day afternoon performances at the Lake Fatehsagar. The performance began with Ablaye Cissoko from Senegal who collaborated with the Constantinople Ensemble from Canada for the first time in India and that too in Udaipur! Their instruments were vernacular and produced eclectic music that invoked the feeling of the true rhythms. It was definitely a ‘must listen’ form of music.

Next to them, commemorating the couplets of the Indian Saint Kabir was the band Kabir Café. They were much admired by the people of Udaipur. People from different countries and cities of India came to listen to them. As we ran talking to the main vocalist of the band Neeraj Arya, he revealed about his affinity towards the writings and teachings of Saint Kabir. The entire band is quite influenced by the teachings of the Saint and follows them as well. They sung their favorite track as well; based on the very famous couplet of Kabir “Moko kahan dhoonde re bande, mien to tere paas mien…… Naa mandir mien naa masjid mien, naa kaabe kailas mien….. Khoji hoye turant mil jaun, ik pal ki talash mien…… Kehat Kabir suno bhai sadho, mien to hoon vishwas mien”

The band also narrated and described the meaning of each of the couplets.

The Day Two Evening: The Knights of HotWater

The evening could not have been more beautiful, as the orb of night rose in the sky and electrifying music of the Indian Band Parvaaz started at the Gandhi Ground. The captivating vocals of Khalid Ahmed and Kashif Iqbal maddened the crowd with their music.

Following them was the band ‘HotWater’, which is a South African World Music band. The band’s eclectic music of traditional South African sound, mixed with a bit of folk, blues, and indie-pop rock was utterly loved by the people of Udaipur. They were a group of enthusiastic singers, dancers, and musicians whose mixed genre compelled people to dance on their tracks. It was indeed one of the best performances of the day.

The second day of the UWMF was concluded by a high-energy performance by Bangalore-based folk/fusion band, Swarathma. The lead vocalist Vasu was very passionate about singing for the audience of Udaipur as he chatted with us before their performance. In his words, “We are quite delighted to play on such a platform and for the people of Udaipur. It is going to be a great experience.” He with his upbeat lyrics fascinated the crowd; “Betaa sweater pehno….” being the most loved track of the evening from the band Swarathma.

The Day Three Afternoon: Like No Other- ‘Advaita’

The third and the final day started with a unique music of the Swiss-Cuban musician Yilian Canizares. The band played Afro-Cuban rhythms and Jazz renditions with Yilian playing the violin. Yilian chatted with us and seemed to be very enthralled with the response of the audience. The genre was new to the people of Udaipur but was received with utmost love.

After Yilian, the band Advaita, an Indian fusion band based in New Delhi performed for the people of Udaipur. Their classical based vocals amalgamated with the winter breezes on the side of the Lake Fatehsagar rendered a picturesque view. Concluding, they played their famous track which was also recorded with ‘Coke Studio’ and ‘MTV Unplugged’ and received acclamation from each and every person seated at the venue.

The Day Three Evening: An Evening of the Gospel Music

The stage was all set for the final day performances at the Gandhi Ground. The Italian band Officina Zoe initiated the event by their breath-taking music. The band traversed the boundaries of language as they sang in Italian and the crowd cheered for them relentlessly.

Dhruv Ghanekar commenced the second performance with vocals in Bengali and Bhojpuri. The crowd loved them and grooved with them as Druv’s guitar strings reached the pinnacle of instrumental music. The artist was accompanied by a vocalist who sang in several languages and a rapper. His performance ended with his much-acclaimed track ‘Revolution’ that made the crowd cheering “Once More!! Once More!!”

London Community Gospel Choir gave the festival an apt spiritual culmination. Their music included aesthetic pleasure; they are a musical ensemble of singers who were highly praised by the lovely people of Udaipur. The crowd went zany dancing when the choir sang one of Bob Marley’s famous songs ‘One Love’. This indeed was the best performance of the day. The crowd was singing and dancing with the choir and was a sight to be remembered.

As the anchor announced the dates of the Udaipur World Music Fest 2018 the crowd cheered with utmost joy as they looked forward to another great event coming their way!!

The people of the UWMF

The Udaipur World Music Festival 2017 housed thousands of people from different parts of the world. We witnessed different colors and patterns, different languages and attires as we meandered through the attendees of the UWMF. People from Indian cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Delhi had specially come to attend the fest. The fest was indeed a treat for the music lovers and for all the people who love to explore the limits of the art. We met some people from Israel and Philippines who were in Udaipur and were awestruck to watch bands like of Ablaye Cissoko and with the music of Kabir Café. Let us have a glimpse of the attendees of Udaipur World Music Festival 2017.

People of Udaipur World Music Festival 2

People of Udaipur World Music Festival 3

People of Udaipur World Music Festival

 


Photo by: Siddharth Nagar

Energy Wrapped Day 2 – Udaipur World Music Festival 2017

“Music is the Universal Language and so fantastic on its own that it unites different types of souls in one.”

And, this thing we felt on Day 2 as well of Udaipur World Music Festival 2017. Exceptionally stunning performances by the diverse artists all the way from Senegal (West Africa), Canada, India, and South Africa showered their melodies in the cultural event.

Thanks to the concept and production of SEHER to bring up with such an incredible effort altogether to encourage the power of music globally. Sponsored by Hindustan Zinc in association with Wonder Cement and Rajasthan Tourism, the second day of the fest was a terrific throwback to the Day 1 as per audience of the Lake City.

Beginning of the core: Ablaye Cissoko & Constantinople

Ablaye Cissoko & Constantinople

Around 3:00 p.m. at Fateh Sagar Pal, the first catch of event began when Ablaye Cissoko from Senegal in collaboration with Constantinople performed the first act at Udaipur World Music Festival 2017. Their Magical, poetic renditions and divine form made the crowd loose into the time to evoke the beauty of being.

And, meeting with them was a great experience as they were glad to visit India for the first time and nurtured the view of crowd in an event.

 

Celebrating Saint Kabir: Kabir Café

Kabir Café

“Bura Jo Dekhan Mein Chala, Bura Na Miliya Koye. Jo Mann Khoja Aapna, Mujhse Bura Na Koye.” Hearing and translating the couplets of Saint Kabir reminds everyone of school days. And, Kabir Café made this thing truly understood in the beautiful form of their singing. The band not only preached the Doha’s in the way of narration but they just made the crowd flow with them while cheering at music.

At the backstage, they got us to know that in spite of so many technical hitches, they were impressed with the audience of Udaipur for being so patience and enjoying their performance. And, that’s not all they just loved the vibes and people’s enthusiasm towards Udaipur World Music Festival 2017.

Next to the Door: Parvaaz

Next to the Door: Parvaaz

Around 7:00 p.m., performance of Parvaaz got to the track at Gandhi Ground. These Bangalore-based rock musicians just caught every eye towards them with their smashing hits. A quad-core band with the sweet gesture they created a mesmerising scenario with their act.

Across the Line: Hotwater

Across the Line: Hotwater

Moving onto next, the performance of Hotwater enrolled everyone to let loose but get the Goosebumps at the same time. Their music incorporated with the elements of the Traditional South African form along with folk, indie-pop-rock, and blues pulled up all the locks of heart out with a superb gathering of the crowd.

Final Take: Swarathma

Final Take: Swarathma

And, finally, it was the major counter-stroke by the music of Bangalore-based band Swarathma. The members of folk fusion band Vasu Dixit (Lead Vocalist) and Varun (Lead Guitarist) along with other musicians told us about their genre which they experiment on regularly to throw a mix with the healthy amount of surprise. While enjoying their performance, we also even got the chance to groove on their tracks in the end.

Udaipurites! We hope that you would have attended the Day 2 and if you haven’t then, don’t feel low, as we have updated everything on our Facebook and Instagram page.


Kabir Café

For the details of final day check out here.

Photos by : Siddharth Nagar

Simply Amusing Day 1: Udaipur World Music Festival 2017

A beautiful musical evening with the enchanting performances by the international as well national artists, we think nothing can be better than that, Right Udaipur!!

As per schedules, Day 1 of Udaipur World Music Festival 2017 conceptualised and produced by SEHER a cultural event got a thrilling beginning and a tremendous response of Udaipurites. Started from 7:00 P.M. and ended at 10:30 P.M. the event was incredibly wonderful with the presence of varying artists with their bands.

Sponsored by Hindustan Zinc (Vedanta Group) in association with Wonder Cement and Rajasthan Tourism, Udaipur World Music Festival Second Edition hosted many VIPs as well as native audience of Udaipur.

Starting Glance: Monoswezi 

Udaipur World Music Festival - Monoswezi

With the gathering of the crowd on an initial basis, the event began with the welcome speech of honourable Home Minister Gulab Chand Ji Kataria who accentuated by describing the beauty of Udaipur and being thankful to the artists for coming to our Lake City.

Then, with the 1st act by Monoswezi, the festival got to the hype. A group of members all the way from Mozambique, Norway, Sweden, and Zimbabwe got the fresh spin of traditional African music and entertained the crowd pretty well. And, by meeting them, we also got some of the backstage glimpse and their words of feeling great and enjoying the vibes of Lake City by being the part of the Udaipur World Music Festival 2017.

Show Continued: Niyaz ft. Azam Ali 

Udaipur World Music Festival - Niyaz ft. Azam Ali

After the performance of Monoswezi, people got to catch the breathtaking and utterly mesmerising act by the Iranian-American singer Azam Ali with her group Niyaz. Blessed with the warm heart, charismatic beauty, and soulful voice, Azam Ali was quite glad and amazed to watch cheering of the crowd, stage arrangements, and was super excited to be the part of Udaipur World Music Festival 2017.

And, here comes the end: Kailash Kher & Kailasa 

Udaipur World Music Festival - Kailash Kher

Then, last but not least, the most awaited performance by the playback singer Kailash Kher with Kailasa rocked the stage with the Sufi music. Members of the Kailasa, Naresh Kamath and Hosai elaborated us about their journey of being in the musical world with Kailash Kher since 2001. And, the best part about their act, well everyone can judge that with the social media posts of people, who were so lost in the cheering and fired with the sounds of Once More! Once more! To boost up the energy even more at Udaipur World Music Fest.

Udaipurites! If you have missed the first day of UWMF 2017, then don’t get distressed, you can join the performances of today at Fateh Sagar pal in the daytime and Gandhi Ground in the evening.

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For more details about Udaipur World Music Festival 2017, you can check out here.

 

Photos by: Siddharth Nagar