| October 25th, 2009

* an evening with heights collective, ganJam, and friends

On Friday, October 23rd, 2009, Adhunika held one of its memorable events of the year – a musical evening with Heights Collective, Ganjam and Friends.

The venue situated right at the heart of New York City – Roy Arias Studios at the Times Square Arts Center could not have been more centrally located and accessible. Anticipation built as the musicians began to tune and warm up their instruments whilst music lovers, young and old, of wide ranging nationalities, from the five Big Apple boroughs (and even other States) gradually trickled in (surprisingly, contrary to the norm with Asian performances, a good number of guests arrived early to bag the better seats!)

Bashma Shea. Photo: Farjana Khan GodhulyThe show opened with a performance by Bashma Shea. Her soulful rendition of “Ami Banglar Gaan Gai” and skillful strumming of the guitar, set the tone for the melodious sensations that were to follow.

Proma Roy, a Bangladeshi ninth grader from New York, performed next with a delightfully adorable number – “Projapoti, Projapoti”, which the crowd found absolutely endearing!

Proma Roy, and Faisal Jalal of GanJam. Photo: Farjana K. Godhuly

It was now time for the first of the bands to jam! Would they be able to actually deliver against all the expectation built over the past weeks?!

Ganjam unraveled itself first. Based in Boston, the four band members – Faisal, Nadine, Navine and Gourab, describe their music as “harnessing the chaotic fusion of all things musical and churning it into a smooth blend of folk, rock and pop”. Casual and talented, Ganjam is a pleasure to behold. The haunting ‘Nithua Pahare” and other memorable tunes such as “Kotha Diya Bondhu” kept the audience begging for more. Unfortunately, the evening had to break for an intermission, prior to which, Adhunika revealed a slide show – vibrant glimpses of various events it held across the city, over the past one year.

And what an eventful intermission it turned out to be! Whilst the audience stretched and networked, scrumptious refreshments by Angon on the Sixth – warm shingaras, garlic naans, rolls and many such were being served. A colorful display of Nityoshongee products were on sale. Nityoshongee or a ‘daily companion’, is a new product line by Bangladeshi designer Shahruk Shahid of Shahruk’s Collection. Proceeds from these products support Adhunika’s Project in Bangladesh. A silent auction was in progress; two exquisite muslin sarees of Shahruk’s collection being bid upon. Adhunika also gifted its guests with a complimentary raffle draw. The lucky winner took home a gorgeous table runner made of pure silk and handloom, by Nityoshongee, a DVD of Deshantori, directed by Mridul Chowdhury and Sujan Mahmood and an acrylic/oil painting in abstract, all donated by Friends of Adhunika!

Post the intermission, Shahnaz Yousuf, the President and Founder of Adhunika, spoke about and shared her experience at the Adhunika Bangladesh Society.
Friends of AdhunikaThe Heights Collective finally arrived onto the podium to enthrall us! This fusion band blends “old-world traditions into new sounds”, with members combining musical influences from India, Argentina, Greece, Ireland, France, and American Jazz. Band members: Roshni Basu – vocals Nicolas Minc – guitar/vocals, Neal Padte – saxophone/flute and Spiro Pantazatos – tabla. Music of this blended genre was electrifying to listen to with its intense lows and highs of instruments, accompanying popular Bangla and Hindi tunes. Their gripping Reggae jig, mesmerizing rendition of an Anusheh Anadil track and other memorable tunes left a lingering effect on the audience.
But, the impromptu finale unveiled to be the most electrifying performance of them all. A jugal bandi/jamming session of the two bands, the resonating on the spot composition, picking up tempo as the tune progressed, with hints of sawal jawab, between the singers, tabla and the saxophone, still rings loud in my ears……
Some acknowledgements – Laila and Nandini portrayed the perfect face of Adhunika as they welcomed the guests. Shahreen, at the food table, guaranteed that the famished were attended to with ultimate graciousness! Krittika and Godhuly, with their perfect eye and lens, and Priyanjali, behind the camcorder, captured every nook, corner and action; splendid photos and video – thank you! Roshni, an Adhunika veteran and all rounded, tech champion cum singer persevered in whatever she took charge of through the night! Last but not the least, the new kids on the block who contributed to the show’s success – Bushra, Nisha and Raaj. Their enthusiasm and professionalism ensured that the event progressed smoothly and ended superbly, sans any glitches! Warm felicitations to the entire Adhunika team and volunteers for gifting New York City with such remarkable events!

Muna Shams


About this blog

Adhunika blog is launched with a mission to share knowledge among women from every walk of life. Sometime it would be in the form of sharing experience to find a feasible solution of a problem; sometime it would be in the form of professional consultation, which Adhunika group will arrange for its bloggers. Nevertheless, the intent of this blog always remains the same - to help and empower women through a common web-based platform....read more



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