Ancient Bengali music at free festival in Leeds

A free festival which aims to celebrate the wonders of Bengali folk music and tackle extremism will come to north Leeds in August.

Monday, 5th June 2017, 12:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th June 2017, 2:16 pm
Radharaman Folk Festival

The RadhaRaman Folk Festival will return to Leeds for the seventh year running on August 18-20, with visitors expected to attend from across the country.

The event boasts whole-day and whole-night performances by Bengali and non-Bengali performers, showcasing folk music and dance from different cultural traditions as well as panel discussions and children’s performances.

It kicks off on the banks of Swinsty Reservoir in Otley with flute performances and a barbecue until 8pm.

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Otley Chevin is the venue for folk dance, music and poetry performances, with barbecue, from 4.30pm to 8.30pm before the next session begins at 9pm at Moortown Methdist Church.

This lasts until early morning on the Sunday when all day there will be music, dance, poetry and talks at the Bangladesh Community Centre on Roundhay Road.

Events also take place at the Reginald Centre on Chapeltown Road on Saturday.

Organiser Ahmed Kaysher said the festival tries to involve women and young people who are excluded through social and religious barriers.

“Tackling extremism is one of the many objectives that this festival is working for.

“This art and music even of folk tradition, originated from the ancient time, promotes wider humanism, love, devotion and it always preaches to make the most of the living moments.”

He added: “The festival is shaping as one of the prominent international festivals in the city in terms of the audiences who come from all over Europe and the artists come from both Bangladesh and India.

“It will be inaugurated by one of the finest Indian classical vocalists in Europe, Chandra Chakraborty, from London, and 32 prominent artists from all across the country and Bangladesh wil perform throughtout the course of the festival.

“These include Tagore singer Dr Imtiaz Ahmed, top folk singer Gouri Chowdhury, semi-classical vocalist Sumana Basu, Sufi Amir Mohammed, Laboni Barua, folk dancer Sohel Ahmed, Anasua Paul, Nandita Mukherjee, flute player Luthfur Rahman and Dutara player Nuruzzaman Ahmed.”

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