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Shash Rang: Come, drift into music to rev up Kashmir’s sullen souls 

September 19, 2023

SRINAGAR:  Come Wednesday, Kashmir will drift into music to rev up the sullen souls.

Thanks to Shash Rang, around 110 top artists of Kashmir will be performing in a daylong Sufi and Folk Music Festival.

From Abdul Rasheed Hafiz to Waheed Jeelani and from Gulzar Ganai to Mohammad Abdullah Shaksaaz, the who-is-who of Kashmir music will perform in the festival.

“We did not hold any festival in the last three years because of Covid. So this is the first time we are holding the festival post-pandemic and everyone is thrilled,” Waheed Jeelani, the organizer of the festival, told The Kashmir Monitor.

This time, different genres of music will be presented at the festival. From Saazina to Sufyiana and from Chakri to Wanwun, Kashmiri artists will cover all facets of Kashmir music to make the festival more interesting.

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The highlight of the concert will be the Wanwun.  Young woman artists will be presenting the folklore to welcome the guests. This time, the entry has been kept free and anyone can walk in to watch the programme at Tagore Hall here.

“Preparations are in full swing. Veterans and youngsters are gearing up for their performance tomorrow. Some instrumentalists from Jammu will be participating in the event also,” said Waheed.

What has added a new dimension to the festival is promoting young talent. Earlier, the veterans were stealing the show and newcomers were fading into the background. This time organizers are trying to encourage new talent to promote and preserve Kashmir music.

“Young artists are making their presence felt. They are very talented. We are encouraging them to popularize our music. Our young Turks are guardians of our music. So they will showcase their talent. Plus we are also roping in schools and colleges so that students can carry forward our rich musical legacy,” he said.

Organizers are also holding a musical conference before the concert. Cultural activists, musicians, and other experts will discuss threadbare how to preserve music, culture, and heritage. There will be a question-answer session as well. 

“It will be followed by a concert. This year we will be awarding exceptional talents. Both veterans and youngsters will be honored. This is the new feature which we have added,” said Waheed.

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