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Five Indian Folk Fusion Acts Selected To Perform At Celtic Connections 2014

The Raghu Dixit Project, Papon & The East India Company, Saurav Moni, Ruhaniyat and Suhail Yusuf Khan to perform at the annual folk festival

Rolling Stone India Apr 09, 2013
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Papon performing at Blue Frog for Folk Nations in April Photo: Prashin Jagger

Last month, seven folk acts took stage for Folk Nations, a showcase organized by British Council and ROLLING STONE India for the artistic director of the folk music festival Celtic Connections, Donald Shaw. The day-long gig that kicked off on a Friday afternoon began with Imphal-based Akhu Chingangbam’s socio-politically charged music, moving onto Saurav Moni’s languorous bhatiali (boatmen) songs from Bengal. Nagaland’s Tetseo Sisters came up next, followed by Kolkata folk fusion band Ruhaniyat and Delhi band Advaita’s Suhail Yusuf Khan’s new folk fusion project with former Faridkot keyboardist Akshay Raheja. Papon & The East India Company and The Raghu Dixit Project closed the evening, leaving the audience charged and ready for an all-nighter.

Shaw was faced with the challenging task of choosing five out of seven acts to perform at Celtic Connections 2014, which shines the spotlight on India next year. The five acts that will travel to Glasgow to perform at the fest include The Raghu Dixit Project (TRDP), Papon & The East India Company, Saurav Moni, Ruhaniyat and Suhail Yusuf Khan. Said Shaw about Papon, “Papon is great, but I really got a feel for the more acoustic approach of his first song of the night. It’s great how he crosses over traditional and ”˜Indie’ styles.” Shaw added that TRDP put up a great show and would fit right into Celtic Connections.

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Besides providing a spot at the festival, Folk Nations is also a gateway for international collaborations. While Khan and Scottish fiddle player Patsy Reid have already begun talks of a collaboration when they met at a folk residency held in Kolkata in February this year as part of Folk Nations, Shaw is keen to get them together again at the festival. Said Kolkata’s Tajdar Junaid, guitarist and co-founder of Ruhaniyat, “We’re excited and looking forward to meeting other musicians. The dotara and the fiddle may just work together in a collaboration.”

Celtic Connections 2014 will be held between January 16th and February 2 in Glasgow. 

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