Bangla music ‘experiment’ fuses with African kora in Brick Lane performance

Chandra Chakraborty performing musical about turbulent life of a Thumri Queen Begum Akhtar. Picture

Chandra Chakraborty performing musical about turbulent life of a Thumri Queen Begum Akhtar. Picture source: Saudha festival - Credit: Saudha festival

The fourth session of the Bengali Music Festival is being staged in Spitalfields on Saturday with experimental performances fusing Bengali traditions with other world music, as part of Black History Month.

It features singers Laboni Barua, Saida Tani, Jessy and Porag being accompanied on the Kora, an African string instrument, stating at 7pm at the Kobi Nazrul centre in Brick Lane.

The kora is being played by Senegal performer Kadialy Kouyate, alongside British Jazz trumpeter Kavin Davy, guitarist Porag Hasan and percussionist Tanim Ahmed.

This year’s festival has returned to east London for its sixth year after kicking off at Bethnal Green’s Rich Mix arts centre last month with a taste of Tagore’s musical play Chandalika.

A special festival session is also being staged tonight at Portcullis House in the Houses of Parliament at 5pm, when Chandra Chakraborty sings Bengali classics, accompanied by Yousuf Ali Khan on tabla and Alice Barron on violin.


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