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Malian Blues, American Jazz-Funk, Flamenco and More At Mahindra Open Drive, Goa This Week

Chico and the Gypsies join the likes of singer-songwriter Nikhil D’Souza and folk artist Raghu Dixit

Rolling Stone India Nov 06, 2019

Veteran flamenco group Chico and the Gypsies return to India for Mahindra Open Drive festival in Goa this week. Photo: Courtesy of Mahindra Open Drive

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Fundraising for NGOs, driving down highways and watching folk stars from all around the globe are part of the inaugural edition of the Mahindra Open Drive festival, which takes place in Goa on November 8th and 9th.

Positioned as a “do-gooder” and “drive-a-thon” festival, families and car owners can drive down to the Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium in Taleigao from four different cities – Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Along each route, there’s specific Mahindra Open Drive pitstops for car servicing and food and beverages and more.

The two-day festival brings together arts, culture, philanthropy, food and music. While the performances start only later in the evening, there’s specially curated restaurants and bars, a souk to discover Goan heritage, art installations and an NGO Village to facilitate contribution.

On day one, there’s seasoned Malian artist Harouna Samake, best known as the Kamale n’goni player (an African string instrument) for the legendary Afropop artist Salif Keita. Releasing his debut album Kamale Blues last year, Samake brings together Malian folk traditions and blues. Closing the night are American multi-genre band Brooklyn Funk Essentials, who’ll get the party started with everything from acid jazz to soul, reggae and of course, funk.

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Day two includes seasoned singer-songwriter Nikhil D’Souza, Bengaluru-based folk artist Raghu Dixit and a headlining set by veteran gypsy band Chico and the Gypsies. Founded by Chico Bouchikhi, who was originally part of the legendary flamenco group Gipsy Kings, the band have previously performed in India since 2005.

The fundraising aspect of the festival starts separately, prior to the event. Attendees can contribute and raise funds towards six “critical action points” in the fields of education, healthcare, livelihood, safety, environment and rights & inclusions.

Get more details on Mahindra Open Drive here. Buy tickets here. Watch the video for “Bamboleo” by Chico and the Gypsies below. 

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