The 19th Bangla Sangeet Mela began last Friday, that is, February 13, 2015. This annual extravaganza of music was inaugurated with much fanfare at Nazrul Mancha, with a star-studded line-up to boot. It is slated to continue for seven days, till February 19.
To pay tribute to SD Burman, Kishore Kumar and RD Burman, a musical concert was staged at the inaugural programme by Pt Bikram Ghose, Ustad Rashid Khan, Indrani Sen, Indranil Sen and others.
Nine venues in Kolkata make up the circuit this time – namely, Rabindra Sadan, Sisir Mancha, Madhusudan Mancha, Phanibhusan Bidya Vinod Jatra Mancha, Rabindra Tirtha (in Rajarhat), Rabindra Sadan Mukta Mancha, Deshapriya Park, Prinsep Memorial, Hedua Park. The first five among these are indoor venues while the rest are open-air stages. Rabindra Sadan Mukta Mancha is earmarked for folk artistes while Deshapriya Park is reserved for Bangla bands. Approximately 1,750 artistes are taking part.
Bangla Sangeet Mela 2015 being inaugurated by Mamata Banerjee
Like every year, the Sangeet Mahasamman and Jatiyo Sangeet Samman awards were handed out to deserving artistes. There were five recipients of Sangeet Mahasamman – Kabir Suman, Bickram Ghosh, Tanmoy Ghosh, Swapan Gupta and Pramita Mullick.
Anjali Mahato, Swapan Basu, Shibaji Chattopadhay, Pratap Chandra Roy, Dhritiman, Santanu Roy Chowdhury, Chironjee Sherpa, Kalikaprosad, Sraboni Sen, Antara Chowdhury, Saikat Mitra, Swapna Chakrobarty, Prokrit, Gautam Ghosh and Anupam Roy were felicitated with the Jatiyo Sangeet Samman award.
Antara Chowdhury receiving her award
Besides the musical programmes, various other activities are taking place like exhibitions, seminars and a fair. About 50 stalls have been set up in the Rabindra Sadan-Nandan campus as part of the Sangeet Mela. Artisans practicing the traditional handicrafts of Bengal, self-help groups (SHGs) and music companies are participating in the fair.
Seminars are being organised on folk songs, classical music and Rabindra Sangeet, with the eminent personalities, Amar Paul, Sugata Marjit and Swapan Gupta, respectively, being the main speakers. An exhibition has also been set up at Gaganendra Pradarshasala in Kolkata Information Centre on SD Burman, Kishore Kumar and RD Burman.
Importance of Bangla Sangeet Mela
The Sangeet Mela’s importance, besides being the grand musical event that it obviously is, lies in the fact that young artistes get the chance to perform on such a big stage, and also get a chance to share the stage with legendary singers and musicians of Bengal. This is a big leap in their development as artistes.
Folk singers from all over the state are also welcomed to stage their performances in front of the city audience, something which is often hard to come by. Their promotion at such a big event is extremely essential for their names to spread far and wide, which would also result in their being able to make a sustainable living out of their professions.
The audience also get to hear different forms of songs from all over the state. And through the tributes to the living legends of music, people get their fill of seeing the greats up close as well.
Eminent music exponent Indrani Sen at the inauguration