Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Events

Organizations collaborate to create special Indian music and dance festival

TAMPA — Heather DeRigo once placed an ad in Khaasbaat, Tampa's local Indian publication, seeking to put together a world fusion band.

Shankh Lahiri answered, never realizing the woman on the receiving end would become his wife.

"It turned out we lived 1.7 miles apart," Lahiri said. "We started to play together and not long after, we went to India to be married."

Now, all these years later, Lahiri and DeRigo have formed another union. Their Shruti Foundation will partner with the Indian Cultural Center for Saturday's Tampa Bay Indian Music and Dance Festival, which will be held in the center at 5511 Lynn Road.

"Everyone was very positive about the concert," said Lahiri, who first shared the idea with Ashok Modh, the cultural center president. "Everyone was very interested to get this idea started. There was a great response from the community with volunteers stepping forward and not just within the Indian community but with non-Indian community organizations."

The festival embodies the goal of the Shruti Foundation. It's aiming to draw in Tampa residents of every age, ethnicity and orientation and continue introducing the music to this culture.

"We are bringing the music in a non-threatening environment where the whole family can come," Lahiri said. "There is going to be the experience of great Indian music and dancers along with food vendors, clothing, crafts."

Traditionally, Indian music concerts are a more conservative affair.

"When we perform (as WAHH! World Fusion) at different festivals, we saw that there is always a different setup," Lahiri said. "A lot of times with Indian concerts, they are more intense, quiet.

"Because it (Indian music) has the same energy and excitement (as western music), I had a wish to break down that barrier and bring this music into the main stream."

Lahiri and the Shruti Foundation have taken several different steps to break down the barriers. Lahiri teaches music through the Shruti School of Music. His band, WAHH! World Fusion, plays at various venues and the Shruti Foundation offers public concerts around Tampa Bay, including St. Petersburg College.

The festival lineup includes a range of different disciplines: tabla/sitar player Nayan Ghosh, award-winning singer Sangeeta Lahiri and Madhuri Gudla and Tara Priyadarshini, who will perform traditional dance dramas in south Indian styles.

Radharaman Kitrtane, KV Mahabala and Lavanya Dinesh — established Indian artists that have made Tampa their home — also will perform. Yoga facilitation by Val Spies of the Lotus Pond Yoga Studio will be part of the program. Kirtan chanting by Cheryl Chaffee will open the festival in the ICC's Magnolia Ballroom.

"We are delighted to begin the whole festival with that ancient chanting," Lahiri said. "There's no need for any special training, you can just come and participate."

The event will include a free guided tour of the Hindu temple on the festival grounds from 3:30-4:30 p.m. And there will be programs to teach children about Indian music and culture.

Lahiri's vision for Saturday's festival is to take more traditional disciplines and present them in a contemporary, festival-like atmosphere.

"Our goal is to share this rich heritage and music and bring awareness of eastern culture and music," Lahiri said. "We want to share with local people, with the Indian and non-Indian community."

Contact Andy Warrener at [email protected]

Comments
Smashing Pumpkins or Dave Matthews Band? Plus Rascal Flatts, Chicago and more concert picks

Smashing Pumpkins or Dave Matthews Band? Plus Rascal Flatts, Chicago and more concert picks

The best concerts this week in Tampa Bay.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 19

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 19

Sunrise Sale and Pajama Party: If you forgot to set your alarm for this sale that starts at 6:43 a.m., you can still find deals into the noon hour. Wear your pajamas for extra deals and a free gift. The starting point is at Beach Drive and Second Ave...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Where to get a good hot dog in Tampa Bay for National Hot Dog Day

Where to get a good hot dog in Tampa Bay for National Hot Dog Day

Monday, July 23, is National Hot Dog Day. I don’t know precisely why, but I think some major lobbying from the sausage board was involved. It’s baseball season, it’s barbecue season, it’s I-don’t-feel-like-cooking season. Those are plenty of reasons....
Updated: 1 hour ago
Paul Stankard creates ‘Unseen Worlds’ in glass, plus art for kids this week

Paul Stankard creates ‘Unseen Worlds’ in glass, plus art for kids this week

NOW OPEN: UNSEEN WORLDSGlass paperweights always fascinated me when I was a child, but not because I understood the artistry and skill that goes into making one. It’s the tiny worlds encapsulated in glass that let my imagination run wild. Those world...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top things to do this week: Tampa Theatre BeerFest, Metrocon, #MomTruths, swimsuit bar crawl

Top things to do this week: Tampa Theatre BeerFest, Metrocon, #MomTruths, swimsuit bar crawl

BEERFEST: Hop Gun Tampa Theatre’s annual movie-themed fundraiser, BeerFest, has produced parties with tongue-in-cheek themes like Barley’s Angels, the Brews Brothers and Hoppy Gilmore. This year it’s "Hop Gun," and partygoers are e...
Updated: 1 hour ago
What’s on stage this week: Hawk & Wayne does politics, Opera Tampa toasts Gilbert & Sullivan

What’s on stage this week: Hawk & Wayne does politics, Opera Tampa toasts Gilbert & Sullivan

OPEN SEASON: TRUST METwo candidates will square off Friday to debate one of the hottest topics of the political season: immigration. You can see them in action at the First Unity Spiritual Campus, where you also may spot campaign staffers, managers a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
In theaters this week: ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again,’ ‘The Equalizer 2,’ silent film ‘Safety Last’

In theaters this week: ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again,’ ‘The Equalizer 2,’ silent film ‘Safety Last’

OPENING FRIDAY:MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAINSophie (Amanda Seyfried) learns about the past of her mother (Meryl Streep in present time, Lily James in flashbacks) while pregnant herself in this sequel to the Abba-fueled musical comedy. With Pierce Brosn...
Updated: 1 hour ago
5 things to do under $5 this week: Puppet show, bike night, shuffleboard, butterfly count

5 things to do under $5 this week: Puppet show, bike night, shuffleboard, butterfly count

1 Butterfly Count: You can learn to identify common Florida butterflies and how organized butterfly counts work. The count information will be used to populate data for Florida Nature Trackers. For ages 12 and older. Noon-2 p.m. Friday. Chinsegut Con...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Review: Ace Atkins’ ‘The Sinners’ a bloody, and funny, trip to the altar

Review: Ace Atkins’ ‘The Sinners’ a bloody, and funny, trip to the altar

There’s always so much to deal with in the weeks before your wedding. For Quinn Colson, there’s his mother’s threat to sing Elvis karaoke if he doesn’t hire a band, the question of whether his long-gone stuntman daddy will show up at all, his bride-t...
Published: 07/18/18
Bowled over: From acai to poke, the top 10 bowls in Tampa Bay

Bowled over: From acai to poke, the top 10 bowls in Tampa Bay

Why, exactly, are bowls the new plates? The Wall Street Journal declared it so. Tableware companies like Fiesta have reported serious double-digit growth in the sale of bowls, salad bowls, cereal bowls, you name it. Fast-food restaurants have jumped...
Published: 07/17/18