''Waves of this festival are reaching worldwide'' -- Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty
Of all the maestros to have graced the stage in the last two years of the Bengal Classical Music Festival, Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty, a living legend of Indian Classical Music, has a special connection to this land. Born in Bangladesh, he still considers this country very much his own, and his popularity among connoisseurs of classical music in Bangladesh also stands unparalleled. The virtuoso vocalist will be on stage on the very first day of the festival, and will present something classical music listeners have rarely experienced: a jugalbandi of Classical vocals and the slide guitar, by Debashish Chakrabarty.
Talking to The Daily Star, Pandit Chakrabarty said he was looking eagerly forward to this collaboration. “Debashish has beautifully represented Classical Music with an instrument not associated commonly with it, and he is a great musician in his own rights. He was very adept in classical music, and after his tutelage under Brij Bhushan Kabra, the first musician who played Classical Music on the slide guitar, he has taken Indian Classical Music to new listeners. He has truly reinvented the slide/ Hawaiian guitar, designing his own instruments for a unique sound. He has played with the most prolific musicians in the world -- including Ustad Zakir Hussein's super-group Shakti – and has numerous accolades to his name, including a Grammy nomination. He is organising an international conference of classical guitar in India early next year, and hopefully there can be classical guitarists from Bangladesh there as well. I sincerely hope the audience will find something truly mesmerising through our performance this year.”
The maestro also heartily thanked and congratulated Bengal Foundation for holding the Festival. “It really is the biggest festival of classical music, and Bengal Foundation deserves all the appreciation for it. It is a colossal opportunity for music and arts lovers of Bangladesh, and I can tell that the waves of this festival are now reaching all over the world. They have also started a fantastic institution for classical music, and I hope and pray that it reaches to all parts of the country and the talented artistes of Bangladesh can reap its full benefits.”
Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty and Debashish Bhattacharya's jugalbandi will be the closing performance of the first night (tonight) of the festival.