The sixth edition of the Global Isai Festival will be on this weekend

Many stunnning artists will be performing at the Globar Isai Festival this weekend in Chennai

Rebecca Vargese Published :  22nd February 2017 07:21 PM   |   Published :   |  22nd February 2017 07:21 PM

Ziia & the Swing Mates

For the last six years, the Global Isai festival has found a permanent spot in the city’s musical calendar. While December has always been synonymous with the Marghazi music season, come February, world music finds a stronghold in the city.  
With a list of 20 artistes from around the globe, the sixth edition of the festival promises a two-day mash-up of music from the blues and jazz to Carnatic fusion rock and hard rock covers on the gayageum (the Korean zither-like string instrument). “Global Isai was started to test the waters of the city’s acceptance to different genres of music. Given the rapidly growing music scene, it has become  permanent,” says festival director, Edison Prithviraj.   
High-strung lines
While the main attractions this year are the bands F-16s and Masala Coffee, making her India debut will be gayageum prodigy Luna Lee. While the traditional instrument is not likely to be the go-to choice for rock bands, the Seoul-based musician has mastered classic guitar riffs and solos on this 21-string instrument, including Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water, Dire Strait’s Sultans of Swing and even Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child. 
“I used to listen to various genres as a child. Soon I found myself playing whatever I liked. It could be pop, jazz, rock or Western classical like Bach,” says the 23-year-old. Catch her originals along with some Nirvana and Pink Floyd covers on the first day. 
Curated medley
The fest will also host the blues band Ziia & the Swing Mates and debutantes reggae artiste Kom Zot, all the way from Réunion Island. “We will be performing in Bengaluru and touring Kerala following the Global Isai festival,” says Ziia, guitarist and lead singer of the band. Audiences can look forward to upbeat bebop numbers interspersed with laid back harmonies. Also among the festival’s headliners is a second-timer—Mumbai-based Kathak dancer Aditi Bhagwat, who will fuse the forms of lavani, kathak, flamenco and Sufi music in a 45-minute performance. “The love we got from Chennai in my last performance was immense. Audiences were surprised at how a classical dance form could be fused with jazz. This time, they are in for a bigger surprise,” she offers. Other bands to look out for are Elektrik Circus, Kuranagan, Thakara and Radiotronics.

At Phoenix Marketcity, Velcahery. February 18 - 19. From 11 am onwards. Details: 9841426951