Rajasthani folk songs, contemporary instrumental music from Brazil, African slave chants and tunes from communities of Croatia will be among the major highlights at the annual Jodhpur Riff festival this year. Scheduled to be held from October 13 to 17 at Jodhpur's Mehrangarh Fort, the festival will bring the rarest and best music of Rajasthan and from across the globe on a single platform.
"We aim to showcase Rajasthan's amazing music and musicianship. Presenting the artistes with respect and dignity is a central aspect of the ethos of the festival. "While there is a lot that remains to be done in the villages of Rajasthan, we try to contribute to the general awareness of Rajasthani folk music, in order to positively impact the livelihood of some of the artists," says Divya Bhatia, festival director.
The five-day-long festival which has previously hosted Grammy awardees like Wouter Kellerman, this year will showcase performances by over a hundred Rajasthani artistes including stalwarts like - Lakha Khan Mangainyar and Kadar Khan Langa (Sindhi Sarangi and vocals), Pempa Khan Manganiyar (Shehnai and Murli) and Sawan Khan Manganiyar (Sufi).
Chiranji Lalji and Shamsuddin (Maand), vocalist Anwar Khan Manganiyar, master musicians of the Kamaycha Ghewar and Darra Khan Manganiyar will also be performing. Jodhpur RIFF, a not-for-profit project, seeks to offer patronage and encouragement to the often neglected Rajasthani Folk music.
"Even though more and more people are now willing to pay to hear good traditional music, it is still not enough. Hence, there is a continued need for patronage for music that may be less in the pop mould," Bhatia says.
Among the major attractions will be a mix of Australian and Rajasthani music where Jeff Lang and Bobby Singh from Australia will collaborate with Bhungar Manganiyar to belt out Rajasthani compositions on "love and loss."