A 10 year celebration of RadhaRaman Folk Festival based in Leeds is happening virtually this year on 27, 28 and 29 November 2020. The three-day festival, featuring some world-leading performers from all across the world has already created wide followers from the UK and Europe. More than 12 hours of exciting sessions of music, dance, poetry and talk everyday will be streaming live in RadhaRaman Festival Facebook Page and YouTube.
Fabian Hamilton the shadow secretary of peace and disarmament, a veteran member of British Parliament said, in a congratulation message for the 10 year celebration of the festival, ‘this is the best treat during Covid for a global audience, such a great line-ups of folk music and dance from many cultural traditions. This is something that I am absolutely looking forward to’
The inauguration will feature panel discussion by three Leeds based MPs Fabian Hamilton, Richard Burgon and Alex Sobel as well as the former governor of Cayman Island Anwar Chowdhury. The planning minister of Bangladesh M A Mannan, the minister of state for cultural affairs K M Khalid, the member of Bangladesh Parliament Muhibur Rahman will join the inauguration from Bangladesh along with other distinguished guests from the UK and abroad.
The festival is bringing some finest performers from different traditions that include the Bhajan king Anup Jalota, the head of Banaras Gharana of Indian classical music Pt Kumar Bose, the finest violin player of this genration Vidushi Kala Ramnath, a leading Tagore singer of this time Jayati Chakraborti, Parvathy Das Baul, Raju Das Baul from India, prominent actor and the former culture minister of Bangladesh Asaduzzaman Noor, folk singer Ashik, Bengali experimental music composer Bappa Mazumdar, talented Tagore singer Shreetama Roy, dancer and actor Aupee Karim, Sadia Islam Mou, Tanna Khan, Farhana Chowdhury and Nilanjana Jui of Nritya Shaily from Bangladesh.
An award winning Scottish musician Simon Thacker, Lebanese-Canadian-Greek musician Lara Eidi, Moroccan Oud and Nai player Hassan Erraji, Schubert vocalist Eric Schelander, Persian Setar and Tambura player Niknaz Mirghalami, Persian dancer Lily Niloufar will also join different days in different talk and performance sessions.
The leading intellectuals and academicians from Bangladesh and India e.g. the former vice-chancellor of Assam University Prof Tapodhir Bhattacharjee, the former vice chancellor of Rabindra Bharati university prof Pabitra Sarkar , the former vice chancellor of Gauro Banga university prof Gopa Datta Bhowmik, the high commissioner of Bangladesh in the UK Saida Muna Tasneem, the former chairman of public service commission of Bangladesh poet Muhammed Sadique, the vice chancellor of the university of Barishal Sadequl Arefin, the former director general of Bangla Academy Shamsuzzaman Khan will participate as the panellists for discussion on folk music and its relevance with modernity.
The festival will also feature the performances of some finest UK based artists Gouri Chowdhury, Sanjoy Dey, Sumana Basu, Sufi Amir Muhammed, Amith Dey, Sohel Ahmed, Sonia Sultana, Laboni Barua, Indrani Ghosh Sen, Jessy Barua, Poppy Shahnaz, Jahangir Rana, Arundhati Mukherjee as well as some child prodigies Tanisha Chowdhury and Anvita Gupta.
Supported by one of the leading Indian classical music promoters in the UK, Saudha Society of poetry and music, Leeds City Council, The Gronthee, the Nehru Centre, SAA UK, Sangeet Foundation and many prestigious organisations from all across the world, the festival will run from 1pm 2pm (UK time) each day.
“The aim of the festival is to promote the joy and happiness of the life through folk music and dance. This has been promoting the lyrical landscapes of the North by hosting sessions of music, dance and networking in the middle of the forest like Otley Chevin, by the Scammonden Lake etc. along with other formal art and community venues” said T M Ahmed Kaysher, one of the founders and the curator of the festival. He continued, ‘RadhaRaman Festival drew the attention of the audiences from different cities of the UK because of its unique nature of hosting sessions all day and all night. Audience ends up with a memorable experience of witnessing music and dance performances happening all day all night, sometime at the deeper forest while barbecuing, sometime at the bank of the lake while networking with people from one tradition to another, one corner to another. Audience goes home with tears after three days of human-bonding that arts and music create in the lap of lyrical nature of the North.