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    A quartet to remember at Shakti Foundation’s fund raiser, Shryaahva

    Last year, the annual festival organised by Shakti Foundation saw musicians like Béla Fleck (banjo), Zakir Hussain (tabla) and Edgar Meyer (double bass). In its 24th edition, the event, called Shryaahva, (a rare Sanskrit word which means lotus). will feature U Srinivas on mandolin, Sivamani on percussion, Stephen Devassy on keyboard and Sheldon D’Silva on bass guitar. The four musicians are coming together for the first time at The Music Academy. According to the founder of Shakti Foundation, Vasanth Raghuvir, the musicians for each year are decided after consulting Srinivas. “We have a discussion with our ambassador Srinivas, who is our anchor and the mainstay of our annual concert. He has been with us since 2000,” she says. Through the concert, the organisers want to spread awareness on the acute needs of the physically challenged and the importance of a barrier-free environment.

    Carnatic advantage
    Master of the mandolin, so much so that the instrument has become synonymous with his name, Srinivas tells us what to expect at the concert. “I have some new compositions for the concert. I have been working with Shakti Foundation for a while and I look forward to this event because it is for a good cause,” he says. For those who are looking for a career in music, Srinivas suggests that having a base in Carnatic music is a bonus. “One can climb up the ladder really fast if they know Carnatic music. Your creativity increases. Even the number of foreigners learning music has increased simply because it gives a good base,” he insists.

    No strings attached
    Expect a mix of Carnatic and Western music from Sheldon D’Silva. “The performance will sound like world music with a lot of improvisation. People can expect virtuoso improvisation, collaborations and solos from some of the greatest musicians in the world,” says the musician from Mumbai. Performing at the Shakti Foundation for the first time, D’Silva says, “It’s for a great cause and I think we should all take it into consideration and show support towards it,” he says. Talking about independent music, D’Silva says, “There aren’t many avenues for independent music in India, nor is there any financial support and promotion for artists doing original music. I hope the country puts in more effort towards nurturing original artists as they represent the true art and culture of our society.”

    At The Music Academy, from February 10-14, between 10 am and 5 pm. Donor passes are available at Shakti Foundation. Details: 26611213

    - Mrinalini Sundar

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