With Krishna Janmashtami approaching on August 10, Banyan Tree events and the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) are up for their annual pre-Janmashtami concerts for this year. This year’s concerts will feature renowned musicians Pandit Jasraj and Shankar Mahadevan respectively.
Pandit Jasraj will present some bhajans on lord Krishna in Bhakti and Peace, a Banyan Tree events initiative. “This is my fourth year at the festival.
I get a lot of peace after doing something in the name of Krishna,” says Pandit Jasraj. He will be accompanied by Rattan Mohan Sharma on the back-up vocals, Ramdas Palsule on the tabla, Bhavani Shankar on the pakhawaj and Mukund Petkar on the harmonium.
Meanwhile, Mahadevan will participate in NCPA’s Shyam Rang, a charity concert organised in collaboration with the Sahachari Foundation. He will perform compositions from traditional as well as contemporary literature and poetry on the deity. “One can relate to Krishna very easily and thus, he is a part of all our lives. So I’ll try to present versatile compositions covering some of his many avatars,” says the musician.
Ask him about the compositions he plans to render and he says, “I plan to sing Baaje Muraliya Baaje, a whole Vitthal medley by Bhimsen Joshi and some Rajasthani haveli songs.” Both his sons will share the stage with him. “My younger son, Shivam, will join in for ‘Maiya mori main nahi maakhan khaayo’ and my older son, Siddarth, will present Krishna in a modern avatar,” he informs.
This is the fourth year that NCPA is hosting Shyam Rang. Why Mahadevan for this year’s event? “Earlier we’ve had Indian classical singers like Shekhar Sen, Kaushiki Chakrabarty and Sanjeev Abhyankar. Mahadevan is versatile in both Carnatic and Hindustani semi-classical music forms, so we thought, he would be one of the best to present a fusion on various Krishna avatars,” says Dr Suvarnalata Rao, head of programming, music, NCPA. Talking about the expectations from the concert, an excited yet nervous Mahadevan, says, “I am petrified by the thought of the performance as I’m doing something on Krishna for the first time. I leave it to Krishna to help me pull it off well.”