Preview: London International Arts Festival (London, 1st – 7th November 2017)  

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The London International Arts Festival (LIAF) is back in town with its fifth edition, focusing its attention on the South Asian and Carnatic music subjects and building on them through musical collaborations, interactions and synergies.

The 6-day event will get underway at Kings Place, where accomplished and internationally-renowned master Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu will enthrall the crowd with his skills. Raga Garage will open the night session with their mix of classic Carnatic sounds and Western-oriented influences.

On Friday the 3rd, Rich Mix will host one of the highlights of the festival. It will indeed be a night of far-ranging sounds, with Yorkston/Thorne/Khan Trio and Kefaya both performing. From India to Scotland, the Middle East and to Mediterranean shores, you’ll travel with the musical notes.

The following day’s line-up will rotate around South Asian sonorities. Prince Rama Varma, Ashnaa Sasikaran, Padma Shri Dr. Yella Venkateswara Rao, Santhoshi Nair, Mangala Anand and the Dhruv Choir will bring to the Redbridge Town Hall a show brimming with Indian classical music and dances.

On Sunday the 5th, Vortex’s audience will musically stargaze with the instrumental performances of Quest Ensemble and Fran and Flora. The two projects, formed by remarkable musicians, will bring together experimental compositions with ambient and more traditionally inspired sounds.

Vortex will host LIAF on the 6th of November too, when Cleveland Watkiss will dazzle and amaze everybody with his tremendous singing abilities. The East-London born and bred singer is indeed one of the most-revered voices in the jazz scene.

To close the festival, Dhruv Arts and Jyotsna Srikanth (the event organisers) have appointed two music wizards. Bernhard Schimpelsberger and Chris Gall are two original, astute and undoubtedly talented musicians. They are drummer/percussionist (Schimpelsberger) and pianist (Gall), and the pair will share their dexterity, performing vis-à-vis on the Vortex stage, mixing together jazz with wide-ranging traditions and classical music.

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