Stringed for a cause

Apr 22, 2013, 23:58 IST | Niladri Kumar

In aid of the Marathwada Drought Relief Fund, music ensemble Sitar Funk will perform a gig to raise funds for the affected regions in our home state

Maharashtra is facing one of the worst droughts since its inception. Despite government efforts the situation calls for help from all corners. Doing its bit is Fusing for a Cause — a musical evening organised to aid Beed, Jalna and Osmanabad districts of the state.

Organised by Pancham Nishad Creatives — an organisation that promotes Indian music — the evening will witness a performance by music group Sitar Funk. All proceeds will go to the Marathwada Draught Relief Fund, to aid the reform work by Marathwada Pariwar and Mantra Foundation in the drought-hit areas.

Niladri Kumar

“I belong to Marathwada. Recently when I visited the area, I was appalled to see that several villages get water only for 20 minutes in a week, and are facing severe storage facility problems. The area needs at least 600 to 700 tanks for storage and each tank costs Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000” says Shashi Vyas, director of Pancham Nishad and also a member of both supporting organisations. Hence, he decided to organise a fund-raiser that would benefit the cause and help him develop his home state.

Vyas informs us that their appeal has received a positive response with several companies providing monetary support to set up tanks. Local NGOs have been roped in to facilitate this project. Each of the performing artistes volunteered to be part of the concert. Led by Niladri Kumar, son of renowned sitarist Kartick Kumar, Sitar Funk blends Indian Classical music with global sounds. The ensemble consists of Gino Banks (Drums), Satyajeet Talwalkar (Tabla), Sheldon D’Silva (Bass Guitar) and Agnelo Fernandes (Keyboard). Jazz icon Louis Banks will also perform as a guest performer with
the group.

Kumar, who created the zitar, a five-stringed instrument, which is the combination of a sitar and a guitar, is happy to be a part of this cause, “The music we create can be called true music, straight from the heart, and requires knowledge, practise, experience and most importantly, a feeling for the music.”

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