Arts Entertainment NRI
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The Richmond World Festival, which is in its third year, is featuring a host of Indian-origin artistes who would be taking the stage in the Canadian city. Over 75 music and dance performances, 50 food trucks, local chef demonstrations, artisan marketplaces and digital carnival are the highlights of the event this year, which also marks Canada’s 150th year.
The event, held over two days on September 1 and 2, celebrates the country’s cultural diversity through music, dance, art, sports from around the world.
The festival line-up includes a host of performers, including the Shiamak Davar dance troupe of Vancouver, known for their Indian flavours. Here are the Indian-origin participants showcasing their skills during the festival:
The lifestyle writer of the website Pink Chai Living delves into food, fashion and culture, and loves whipping up experimental fusion recipes such as blueberry jam-filled Idli, gulab jamun cupcakes, and chocolate-dipped besan. She also preserves generational Indian recipes and is interested in quick, healthy Indian food. Hailing from West Coast, Thandi describes herself as a bit of “Hollywood-Bollywood”.
Born to Indian immigrant parents in Canada, Beatboxer Shamik Bigli grew up on bhajans, and songs of Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and Jagjit Singh before he found hip hop, electronica and R&B, all of which are genres that pervade through this work. He also plays the tabla. Shamik released his first album in 2006.
He performed at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, and recently released a Indian-infused hip hop beat series, Channeling India. Said Shamik to the music blog, Stacked: “I would like my Channeling India series to get noticed in the UK. Some of the best Indian electronic pioneers are from the UK, and I looked up to them when I made Channeling India vol 1. It would be great to share my music out there where there is a huge Indian community.”
Akhil Jobanputra started his training in Hindustani vocals when he was three years old. While he started his training at Pandit Jasraj School of Music Foundation, Vancouver, he got trained with other gurus from the Mewati, Kirana, and Gwalior Gharanas. Now 20, the student of Hindustani classical music trains under Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj and Pandit Sanjeev Abhyankar. Jobanputra, a student of Human Geography at the University of British Columbia, also teaches Hindustani classical music.
Jobanputra has also experimented with western music by participating in the Burnaby Children’s District Choir until 2010 and by collaborating with Celtic and African musicians in Mission Folk Festival in 2012.
Sticks n’ Skins
The Sticks n’ Skins ensemble have representations of musical sounds of India, Africa, Brazil, Cuba, Japan, China and the indigenous people of Canada. Brought together by Dr Sal Ferreras, the ensemble has been performing at festivals and corporate events since 2008. During the 2010 Winter Olympic & Paralympic Games, they performed during Team Welcome ceremonies held for each nation. They are currently working on pieces that incorporate hip hop music, beat boxing and live vocals.