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Rakesh Chaurasia returns for another spell

The Flute Master due next month
Ratna Venkat – Kuchipidi takes- Ratna Venkat Web
ratna@indiannewslink.co.nz

Last year, Auckland-based band Sargam Fusion exceeded people’s expectations when it staged its maiden concert that matched up to its title, ‘The Global Indian Project’.

The show held on July 25, 2015, emphasised not only fusion but also collaboration with a difference. Musicians and their instruments from East and West complemented and contrasted each other’s playing styles, highlighting the coordination and understanding among the band’s featured artistes.

Almost a year later, Sargam Fusion is back with a new ‘Global Indian Project’ concert, this time in collaboration with world-renowned classical flautist and composer from India, Rakesh Chaurasia.

Organised and presented by Old Fort, ‘Sargam Fusion with Rakesh Chaurasia,’ is scheduled to be held on Friday, June 24 at Great Hall of Town Hall located at Queen Street in Auckland’s Central Business District.

The two-and-half programme will feature the visiting artiste and local performers of Sargam Fusion.

Great Disciple

An acclaimed disciple and nephew of Flute Maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Rakesh has inherited and continued the tradition from his veteran uncle playing the ‘Bansuri’, an ancient bamboo flute from South Asia, believed to be the same played by Lord Krishna.

Along with keeping up with his uncle’s and Guru’s name, Rakesh has over the years developed his individual style that not only reflects his identity as a flautist on the international music scene but also his humble persona, mesmerising old and young fans across the globe.

Wide repertoire

Besides being a flautist from the North Indian Hindustani tradition, Rakesh has collaborated with wind instrumentalists from other cultures including the masters of South Indian Carnatic music and other world musicians including American banjo player Béla Fleck, Jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman and Double Bassist Edgar Meyer.

His résumé also describes Rakesh as a studio musician, having worked and recorded with many leading stalwarts of the Indian film fraternity.

Rakesh has been a recipient of numerous awards, among which are the ‘Indian Music Academy Award’ (2007), ‘Aditya Birla Kalakiran Puraskar’ (2008), ‘Guru Shishya’ (2011), and the ‘IWAP-Pandit Jasraj Sangeet Ratna’ and ‘Pannalal Ghosh Puraskar’ (2013).

Commendable achievements

With Rakesh’s commendable contribution to Indian classical music and world music so far, New Zealand audiences are awaiting his presence and his bansuri again after his last tour of Australia and New Zealand in 2013.

With his hands, the humble flute made out of bamboo has come a long way, travelling far and wide and touching the hearts of his peers and spectators alike.

Perhaps the association of Bansuri with Lord Krishna makes this instrument so hard to ignore, especially if the audience is transported to another realm and can imagine themselves as part of His ‘Rasa-Lila.’

‘Rasa-Lila’ is a Hindu concept depicting how Gopis or milkmaids would sneak away from their homes as soon as they hear the Bansuri played by Lord Krishna.

With the exception of sneaking away, today’s audience would no doubt be transported to bliss once they hear Rakesh Chaurasia’s rendition of his bansuri at the forthcoming concert.

More information about Sargam Fusion and its band members will appear in the next issue (May 15, 2016).

 

What: Rakesh Chaurasia in Concert

             With Sargam Fusion

Who: Old Fort

Where: The Town Hall, 380 Queen Street, Auckland

When: Friday, June 24 at 730 pm

Tickets: $65, $45 & $25

   www.ticketmaster.co.nz

 Sargam School of Indian Music

Contact: Basant Madhur

Phone: 021-0357954

Email: basant_madhur@ihug.co.nz

 

Photo Caption: Rakesh Chaurasia

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