The fifth Dhaka International Folk Fest (DIFF) 2019 concluded yesterday and featured mesmerising performances by Malek Kawal and Chandana Majumdar from Bangladesh, Sattuma from Russia and Junoon from Pakistan.
Malek Dewan and his troupe began the evening with Maizbhandari and Qawwali genres. The pulsating beats of dhol and kortal, in harmony with the melody of Nagarsang Kirttan, mingled with one of the timeless compositions of Maizbhandari Sufi song.
Sattuma, a famous Russian folk band, then took over the stage to amuse the audience with scintillating Karelian-Finnish scores. The Finnish word “sattuma” means “hitting the mark”, and the band has been all around the world with their instrumental tracks since 2003 and continues to make a mark in different corners of Russia, USA, Finland, Scandinavia, Estonia, and Germany, with their neo-folk tracks. Their performance concluded with the symphonic recital, blending traditional and modern tunes.
Renowned folk singer Chandana Majumdar was the penultimate performer of the night. Prior to her performance, she said she would start with Lalon Shah compositions like “Dhonno Dhonno Boli Tarey”, “Manush Chhara Khyapa”, “Shirni Khawar Lobh Jaar Achhe” and “Koi Holo Mor Machh Dhora”.
“When I started realising the philosophical essence of Lalon Shaijee’s songs, they embedded a deep emotion in my heart. The Bard’s songs constitute the core of our cultural heritage,” said Chandana, who later rendered the songs of Radharaman Dutta, Rajjab Ali Dewan, Shah Abdul Karim, along with a few Murshidi numbers.
At the festival, the singer captivated the audience with popular numbers, “Amar Bondhu Doyamoy” and “Jati Kul Joibon Diyachhi”, composed by Radharaman Dutta and Shah Abdul Karim.
Junoon, the pioneering Sufi rock band from Pakistan, wrapped up the festival with their evergreen tracks, including “Sayonee”, “Bulleya” and “Jazba-E-Junoon”. Junoon developed a nationwide fan following, by blending rock guitars and bluesy vocals with Eastern elements like the use of tabla, raga-inspired melodies, traditional Pakistani folk music and Eastern-inspired poetry.
As the band ended this year’s edition of the Folk Fest, presented by Meril, powered by Dhaka Bank and organised by Sun Communications, the audience was left breathless till the very last beat.