7:45 PM onwards
Old Zenana Courtyard
Full Festival pass/ Day Pass
Bulund Aavaazein, Kalbeliyon ki
Mohini Devi, Sugna Devi and Asha Sapera open the evening performances with a selection of traditional Jogi (aka Jogi Kalbeliya) songs. Each an enthralling vocalist in her own right, they are the few female singers left who carry on what used to be a robust musical tradition. The women of this originally nomadic Jogi community regularly sang along with serpents that the community is famous for handling. When the practice of catching and raising snakes were outlawed under wildlife preservation laws the women gradually created a movement and began dancing to represent the snakes that were an integral part of their culture. Over time the Kalbeliya dance form has overshadowed the musical traditions of the Jogis, with only a few women left who remember and perform these disappearing songs. What is also remarkable is that not many women vocalists can match the high pitch of the been (pungi), the reed-like instrument which is a hallmark of the Jogi Kalbeliya, the way Mohini ji and Sugna ji can. Their astoundingly unique voices and passionate presence make for a wonderful and captivating performance.
Jeff Lang and Greg Sheehan
With 25 music albums and multiple ARIA awards under his belt, Jeff Lang is Australia’s most accomplished slide guitarist, songwriter, singer, composer and music producer in the Blues and Roots genre. Beginning his musical journey at the age of 12, and still as gutsy and prolific, Jeff is ranked among the leading guitar players in the world. Returning to the Jodhpur RIFF* stage after 10 years, Jeff is accompanied by long-time friend and collaborator Greg Sheehan.
Having started his journey as a 4-year-old mesmerised by the first drummer he saw perform live, Greg Sheehan hasn’t stopped drumming for the past 60 years! His practice has stayed diverse throughout the decades, including collaborations with artists like Blackfeather, Goanna, Shane Howard, The Black Arm Band and many more. Today, Greg is equally loved as a performer, teacher, visionary, and a highly respected music producer*.
*Jeff has had a long-standing, remarkable collaboration with Asin Khan Langa and a band called Maru Tarang. Greg produced the informal closing ceremony at the Commonwealth games in 2018, that featured the Dhol Drummers of Rajasthan.
Jodhpur RIFF presents a performance featuring some of the best young folk dholak players from Rajasthan. Led by Feroze Khan Manganiyar, Rajasthan’s foremost dholak instrumentalist, this display is an outcome of a series of masterclasses for young musicians, supported by the festival.
Trained as a Hindustani vocalist, Smita Bellur was among the first to be accepted as a student into a long lineage of qawaals (traditional male Sufi singers), the Warsi Brothers. She has practised Sufi music, imbibing from the best of Islamic mysticism. Her music deeply reflects her continuous and passionate engagement with the mystic, spiritual sects of Indian musical practice. She is well versed in the Sufi, Nirguni, Bhakti, Veerashaiva and Haridasa poetry traditions, weaving new depths into their ancient scripts with her melodious voice. Many of these poems combine worship and devotion with a deep romance and longing for an unmediated union with the divine. Today, many centuries after their original compositions, Smita’s ability to capture these complex emotions in her renditions is a true testament to her talent and commitment to her art. This night dedicated to the Sufi, promises to be one of the most memorable and magical nights at the festival. Her set features India’s leading classical Sarangi artist Dilshad Khan and will be supported by a range of folk musicians including Sadiq Khan on Dholak and Zakir Khan on harmonium.
Ars Nova Napoli
Jodhpur RIFF brings the music of the Napolitan streets to its stages, with the most accomplished young artists of the genre. Performing on the streets of Naples for the longest time before taking to the studios, Ars Nova Napoli has stayed true to their Campanian roots for over 14 years now. Their artistic practice is inseparable from the culture of the historic city of Naples, famous for street art and music. Born from a strong belief that artistic expression needs to be free and accessible to the common man, they have performed in countless marketplaces, alleyways, weddings and birthday parties across Italy, as well as music festivals around the world. Truly, no stage is small enough to keep them away. Marcello Squillante, Bruno Belardi, Michelangelo Nusco, Antonino Anastasia, Vincenzo Racioppi and Gianluca Fusco perform a wide variety of music ranging from Sicilian serenades, Neapolitan Classics, Calabrian tarantellas, extending all the way to the Greek rebetiko and Balkan music. Their constantly evolving music is equal parts festive and joyful, and a testament to the fact that art truly has and will always belong among the people.