International performers bring Bangla music festival back to east London

PUBLISHED: 13:00 26 September 2018

Chandra Chaktaborty in performance. Picture source: Saudha Society of Poetry & Indian Music

Chandra Chaktaborty in performance. Picture source: Saudha Society of Poetry & Indian Music


The biggest festival of Bengali music outside the Indian sub-continent returns to east London at the end of the month for its sixth year running.

Bangla Music Festival opens at Bethnal Green’s Rich Mix arts centre on September 30 for the start of four concerts over six weeks at two main East End venues and the House of Commons.

It has an international line-up such as Tabla player Aniruddha Mukherjee from India, Ashim Dutta from Bangladesh and European-based classical singer Chandra Chakraborty.

Others include Gouri Chowdhury, Sumana Basu, Laboni Barua, Anusua Paul, Amith Dey, Jessy Barua, Saida Tani and Tagore exponent Dr Imtiaz Ahmed.

The turbulent reign of Thumri Queen Bengum Akhtar is brought to life on stage by Chandra Chankraborty through performance and theatrical narrative.

The festival, staged by Saudha Society of Poetry & Indian Music, shows the development of Bengali music down the centuries from 730 AD, from pre-medieval to classical, folk and modern.

It opens at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green Road on September 30 at 6.30pm, then Kobi Nazrul centre in Brick Lane on October 21 and 27, returning to Rich Mix on November 2. The House of Commons hosts a session on October 25 at 5pm.

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