The fourth edition of Ruhaniyat, the mystic and Sufi music fest, takes place this evening. Along with festival regular Parvathy Baul, this year’s fest will have performances by artists from Iran and Africa.
The highlight is a Siddi Goma group or the Black Sufis of Gujarat, who will present ‘Baithi Dhamal’, a combination of Indian influences based on native African music styles. The group includes drummers, dancers and singers. The Siddi community moved from Africa to India eight centuries ago.
The festival also features the Baran music ensemble from Iran; Krishen Langoo from Kashmir, Sufi singers Jamil Khan and Mamme Khan from Jaisalmer and the qawwali group Haji Timmu Gulfam from Jaipur.
Mahesh Babu, director of Banyan Tree, the organisers, says Sufi as a genre is increasingly finding favour with the common man. “I see many more people meditating,” he says.
Babu ensures uninitiated members of the audience understand the essence of the music. “We explain the meaning of the act and the words in our shows.”