Thursday, 6 April 2017

Indian Fine Arts Academy of San Diego Festival 2017

By Sukanya Sankar

Day 2 : 3 April 2017

April 2017 marks the 97th birthday of the late sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar and also marks the 60th anniversary of his first solo concert in California. Day 2 of the 10th anniversary celebrations at IFSAAD, commenced with a documentary, exploring his life as a musician and teacher through rare and candid footage. The film showcased the maestro’s collaborations, with Western musicians Yehudi Menuhin, George Harrison and others. 

As a fitting tribute to her father on his 97th birthday which falls on 7 April 2017, Anoushka rendered a soul stirring performance to a packed hall at the quaint Jewish David and Dorothea Garfield theatre at San Diego. An emotional Anoushka, apart from playing some of her popular fusion pieces, also rendered some of the ragas that were created by her father—ragas Jogeswari and Sandhya— she had played the latter at her maiden ensemble concert at the Kremlin, along with her father Pandit Ravi Shankar.

At San Diego, Anoushka was accompanied by Ojas Adhiya (tabla), Pirashanna Thevarajah (mridangam), Ravichandra Kulur (flute), Sanjeev Shankar (shehnai) and Kenji Ota (tanpura). It was interesting to note that the diverse audience, totally  involved, maintained complete silence throughout the concert—no cell phone noises or chattering. As photography was not allowed, it was a refreshing experience at a time when most concerts have flashing cell phone screens documenting every moment on social media or for taking pictures. Hope this trend continues for all genres of music.

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