By Arjun Bhatia, Official ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival Blogger
The last night of the Clarks Amer Music Stage at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival treated the crowds to a variety of genres befitting the celebration of cultural diversity that the festival has come to symbolize. Irish singer and songwriter Lisa Hannigan, whose voice has been featured on the soundtracks for the TV series Fargo and the Oscar-winning score for Gravity, regaled the audience with indie-folk songs. Her haunting voice, complemented by the subtle rhythms of her acoustic guitar, left the listeners bewitched.
Following Hannigan’s soul-stirring act, the audience welcomed the Aga Khan Music Initiative’s (AKMI) All Stars ensemble. This six-artist line-up of AKMI’s most beloved musicians, from Afghanistan, China, Italy and Syria, performed on the theme of ‘New Music from the Ends of the Silk Route.’ It showcased a unique combination of instruments representing the Eastern and Western ends of the historical Silk Route, as well as ancient and contemporary musical cultures. The ensemble’s Grammy award nominated pipa (a four-stringed Chinese musical instrument) player Wu Man shared her experience: ‘When I hear people shouting, it’s so exciting. This was an amazing evening.’
The packed crowd’s excitement hit its crescendo as it rejoiced the entry of The Raghu Dixit Project for the final act of the night. Whether it’s a 100,000-strong crowd in his home state of Karnataka or the Queen of England, Raghu Dixit’s music has drawn enthusiastic praise. Hailed as India’s biggest cultural and musical export, The Raghu Dixit Project treated the audience to their signature brand of infectious, upbeat folk and fusion music. With the enraptured audience clapping to their beats and echoing the vocals, the band bowed out, marking the end of this year’s musical extravaganza.
Photo Credit: Chetan Singh Gill