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Bangla music festival returns to east London with opening night at Poplar Union

PUBLISHED: 17:00 17 September 2019 | UPDATED: 08:32 18 September 2019

Bangla music festival returns to the East End September 21, 29 and October 12. Picture: Saudha society

Bangla music festival returns to the East End September 21, 29 and October 12. Picture: Saudha society

Saudha society

The largest Bengali music festival outside the Indian sub-continent returns to the East End for its seventh year at the weekend recreating a culture going back to 730AD.

Rikta Mukherjee and Imtiaz Ahmed perform Tagore at Poplar Union on Saturday, September 21. Picture: Saudha societyRikta Mukherjee and Imtiaz Ahmed perform Tagore at Poplar Union on Saturday, September 21. Picture: Saudha society

It opens on Saturday evening, September 21, at the Poplar Union, then Bethnal Green's Rich Mix on Sunday, September 29, organised by the Saudha society of poetry and music and backed by Tower Hamlets Council.

The programme includes medieval and pre-medieval music, folk music, Tagore and his contemporaries, as well as secular, fusion and experimental music.

Vidushi Chandra Chakraborty's solo performance is at Rich Mix on September 29.

"The festival was launched to take this great music in the world stage," curator Ahmed Kaysher said.

Chandra Chakraborty is performing at Bangla music festival. Picture: Saudha society.Chandra Chakraborty is performing at Bangla music festival. Picture: Saudha society.

"We introduce the magic of this art form with a narration in English to attract wider audiences from all over London."

The opening night at Poplar Union has a sacred recital of the melodies of Tagore by Imtiaz Ahmed and Rikta Mukherjee.

The line-up at Rich Mix the next evening includes tabla player Aniruddha Mukherjee and Hindustani classical music torch-bearer Vidushi Chandra Chakraborty.

The festival's final Saturday evening is in Spitalfields next month at the Kobi Nazrul Centre, October 12.

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