Multi-award winning fifth generation and “maverick” sitar player Niladri Kumar, along with tabla player Vijay Ghate, are headed to South Africa for a two-city concert tour of Indian classical music, entitled Raga Ecstasy.
Performing in Cape Town at the Baxter Concert Hall on Saturday, July 29, at 7.30pm; and at the Lyric Theatre in Johannesburg on Sunday, July 30, at 5pm, the pair are set to entrance and transport concert goers with their rippling performance – a “delicate, but exhilarating” fusion between the worlds of classical and contemporary music. Whether as a devoted fan of Indian classical music (ICM), or new to the genre, the “magical nature of the improvisation” is not to be missed, as it will not happen again.
After gaining an in-depth and profound understanding of ICM – he began playing at the age of four under the tutelage of his father – Kumar has gone on to revolutionise sitar playing, making it uniquely his own. His non-traditional use of the instrument has made his music as appealing to the youth as it is to long-term aficionados, ensuring sold out venues wherever he plays. The sitar is a dynamic and alive instrument and Kumar expands on tradition, without losing the roots from which it springs.
What to expect at Raga Ecstasy
Joining Kumar on this tour is Vijay Ghate, who began his own musical journey with the tabla at the tender age of three. Starting out beating empty tin boxes at age two-and-a-half, Ghate’s fascination developed into an insatiable passion for the ancient percussion instrument that is such a crucial part of Indian musical storytelling.
Also holding multiple awards and recognition, Ghate regularly accompanies music maestros in India and abroad – his most recent visit to South Africa was with Deepak Pandit at the end of March this year. He is one of the few tabla players proficient in accompanying instrumental, vocal and dance music.
Expect the unexpected if you are in Cape Town or Johannesburg in July this year.
* Tickets are priced between R300 and R600 and are available from Computicket and Shoprite Checkers stores.