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Wilton’s stages Women in Music festival to rebalance gender in south Asian culture

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 August 2018

Wilton's music hall in Grace's Alley, off Cable Street. Picture: Mike Brooke

Wilton's music hall in Grace's Alley, off Cable Street. Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

Women are taking over Wilton’s Music Hall for a four-day festival to “put the gender balance” into traditional south Asian performance culture.

Iconic auditorium of Wilton's, the oldest surviving music hall in the country, possibly the world. Picture: Wilton'sIconic auditorium of Wilton's, the oldest surviving music hall in the country, possibly the world. Picture: Wilton's

The ‘Women in Music’ festival is being staged at Whitechapel’s iconic Grade II-listed Wilton’s, the oldest surviving music hall in the country.

It opens on Monday with a conference at 2.30pm on inequality in the Asian music industry, with women from the arts world, finance, funding and the music business brought together by Sama arts network.

The arts of South Asia are male-dominated, given the patriarchal framework of the cultures, the arts network points out. This needs “the occasional intervention to give women artists their due”, it says.

Tough questions about the role of women in British Asian communities are being asked through music about traditional perceptions of gender roles.

Monday’s conference at the music hall in Grace’s Alley, off Cable Street, is followed by four evening concerts from August 13 to 16 at 7.45pm.

Events include pianist and composer Zoe Rahman and Royal College of Music professor Patricia Rozario, acclaimed in jazz, contemporary and classical fields.

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