Lokkhi Terra and The Che Guevara's Rickshaw Diaries

2012 began with Lokkhi Terra performing at Drik. The group has performed all around the world at venues such as Ronnie Scotts, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, the House of Commons, Glastonbury and at Womad.? They were one of the critics? choices at this year?s Womad festival in the UK, and was the band chosen to perform at the closing ceremony of the South Asian Games 2010.
Lokkhi Terra?s two albums?No Visa Required,?and?Che Guevara?s Rickshaw Diaries, received much critical acclaim around the world.

Photo Of Lokkhi Terra

From?Bangladesh,?Cuba,?Turkey,?United Kingdom
Open-eared and well-travelled world/jazz fusion
The music of Lokkhi Terra isn’t for those who don’t travel well, while those with strong wanderlust in their bones are advised to strap themselves in. The sound of this London-based, multi-membered collective zigzags all over the map. Their point of departure appears to be jazz fusion, but from here they touch down in the streets of Bangladesh, the Afrobeat clubs of Nigeria, the cantinas of Cuba and the beaches of Brazil. Such eclecticism might suggest a disjointed jumble, a sound dreamed up by committee. But in Lokkhi Terra’s care, it all makes utter and perfect sense, a seamless collage of some of the best noises this planet’s ever made. And they’re a bunch keen on album titles that sum up their modus operandi. Last year’s No Visa Required emphasised their border-busting sound, while their forthcoming record also gives a hint of their influences and inspirations: it’s called Che Guevara’s Rickshaw Diaries.
(Biography written by Nige Tassell 2011)
They have all performed around the world at venues such as Ronnie Scotts, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, the House of Commons, Glastonbury and at Womad.? They were one of the critics? choices at this year?s Womad festival in the UK, and was the band chosen to perform at the closing ceremony of the South Asian Games 2010.
Lokkhi Terra?s two albums?No Visa Required,?and?Che Guevara?s Rickshaw Diaries, received much critical acclaim around the world.
The combined sonic forces usually transform a quiet room into one which has people clapping and swaying within minutes and Khan is hoping for a similar reaction in India. Times of India.
Lokkhi Terra will be playing?23rd of January at Blue Frog Delhi and on the 24th January at Blue Frog Mumbai.
Lokkhi Terra is led by the Bangladeshi Kishon Khan

Kisho Khan
Kisho Khan?Pianist/Composer/Arranger/Producer

Here is what people have said about him:
?Kishon Khan leant back from his keyboards with the glee of a man driving a super-car, and played as if distilling the entire 1970s work of Herbie Hancock into a high-octane drive in the country, as congas bounced and brass slid around him…? FT.com
?A formidable jazz pianist? Simon Broughton, Evening Standard
? Highly innovative, a key figure in the British Bangla-Afro-Cuban-Jazz circle? Agogo Records
?Exceptional? ? Movimientos
Kishon Khan is a classically trained pianist, born in Bangladesh, and brought up and living in London. He is widely regarded as one of the most versatile players on the scene today ? sessioning across the genres whilst also being at the heart of some of London?s most critically acclaimed bands. He has lived, studied and worked in countries a far afield as Cuba, Brazil, South Africa, and of course Bangladesh, and this is reflected in the diversity of his musical works/collaborations.
Lokkhi Terra is developing the theme music for Chobi Mela VII, the international festival of photography, held in Dhaka.
The year sadly ended with the attack at Ramu, the devastating fire at Tazreen Fashions and the brutal assassination in broad daylight of Biswajit Das. While both parties wax lyrical on their successes at the talk shows, the real heroes of Bangladesh continue to be the farmer in the field, the migrant workers and the garment workers who pay for the lavish lifestyles of the Tri State residents of Gulshan, Baridhara and Banani. Let’s take time to remember some of the other Bangladeshis who have made us proud. Some of them young like the choreographer Akram Khan and the writer Tahmima Anam the cricketer Shakib Al Hasan, the educationist Salman Khan and others more senior like the elephant in the room whom we are not allowed to mention, Muhammad Yunus.
Please Retweet #bangladesh #muhammadyunus #tahminaanam #akramkhan #shakibalhasan #salm


diwans.org is a participatory web project proposing an intercultural dialogue through artistic responses.

People around the world are invited to produce audio-visual creations inspired by the Diwan poetry of Persian poet Hafez and German writer Goethe and send their own creative interpretations. 
diwans.org is an artwork authored by everyone. Continue reading “EXPERIENCE, EXPLORE, ENGAGE YOURSELF IN AUDIO-VISUAL POETRY”

Memorial for Pandit Ravi Shankar

In 2010, I went to Raviji to share my dream of reconstructing the ‘ Concert for Bangladesh 71’? by George Harrison and friends in Bangladesh to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence. I told him I wished to stage a big concert in Dhaka to reflect the spirit of that concert and use the voice of music to draw attention to climate change. He patiently listed and pondered – there was an excitement in his eyes but his wisdom prevailed and he quietly gave me some advise which I heard and respected. When I then wrote to him a few months later to let him know that instead we were staging the first ever ‘ Dhaka World Music Festival’ – he sent me blessings?which once again spoke of his deep belief that the voice of music transcends all geographical barriers and it is a powerful voice of unity. I realised also at the time that he has a real soft corner for Bangladesh and that it was sad that his role in the ‘Recognition of Bangladesh’ by the ordinary people of the world was never recognised and honoured as it should have been…. 40 years had gone by.
In 2011, Channel i, one of the largest TV Channels in Bangladesh approached me in London to see if Raviji could be present at one of their mega celebrations being staged at the Jamuna Bridge with the Jamuna river as a backdrop.? Sounded amazing, but I told them that in view of Ravij’s age and ailing health it would be impossible to do that ,even though they were ready to make best possible travel arrangements. The alternative suggested was for Channel i to perhaps relay a message from him on the day.. They agreed and said they would arrange for their crew from New York to go to San Diego to record Raviji’s message which would be transmitted onto three big screens to reach the thousands in the audience.? I took the proposal to Raviji – we had 3 days to do something. His response was surprising. He said it would be superfluous and costly for a team to fly all the way from New York? and added that? he had his own recording crew , so he would do a video recording and with mordern technology now available Channel i would get it well in time to transmit it on screen. It was done and delivered as promised in two days!? Raviji was a very special human being – his positive mind and forward thinking was exemplary…….. and these recent instances I recollect only reflects that .
One could go remembering so much more – the small dinners at my home when he wanted Maach Bhat . He always insisted that we keep it small and contained within the family so we could all meaningfully interact. There were other festive gatherings when he would delight us all with his stories or his views on a political situation or share encouraging and generous words on other up and coming musicians…….and so much more.
Today – the 12th day of the 12th month of the 12th year of the 21st century we have lost a Sitar maestro, a guru, a legendary figure in the world of music, a dear friend, a well wisher and a very special human being who so many in the world so loved and will so miss.
Runi Khan
Message from Sukanya
Dear Friends,
I am not able to write to all of you myself as my grief is overpowering. Although this is a sad time I wanted to thank you for your kind words and let you know that I am overwhelmed by all of the love and support of my friends and family and I am so grateful for this as everyday passes.
Sukanya Shankar
Below are the details of the Memorial for Pandit Ravi Shankar are as follows, please do attend if you are able:
We writing to inform you of a memorial service for Pandit Ravi Shankar. The family would love to share this moment with you and to celebrate his amazing life and legacy.
We understand that time and distance may be an issue for many of you. Rest assured another memorial will be held in India in January, and we will update you with those details as they are finalized.
Memorial Details:
Day:??? ??? Thursday, December 20th
Location: Self Realization Fellowship, on the corner of Highway 101 & K Street, Encinitas, CA. Please enter through the main tower.
Time:??? ?? 10:30am
RSVP:???? Please RSVP to?shankarmemorial@gmail.com?with your name and number of attendees
***Please arrive between 9am & 9:30am to allow adequate time to find parking in the area.***
Please help us by sharing this with anyone you know should be present, as this is a moment for friends and family to celebrate the man we all knew and loved.
Please Retweet #ravishankar #concertforbangladesh #bangladesh #music #sitar

Zoe Rahman wins MOBO award for Best Jazz

BBC Review

Witness the power and conviction of Zoe Rahman live…
Michael Quinn 2009-05-06

Zoe Rahman’s prowess at the piano shouldn?t be underestimated. In the decade since she shot to national attention as the Perrier Young Musician of the Year, Rahman has matured into a pianist of keen intelligence and wide-ranging imagination. Evidence of such is to be found in dazzling abundance on this first live album from the British-Bengali soloist. Continue reading “Zoe Rahman wins MOBO award for Best Jazz”


The UNESCO/Aschberg Bursaries for Artists Programme and the Instituto Sacatar in Itaparica, Brazil, are pleased to announce the upcoming selection process for the UNESCO/Aschberg bursaries to Sacatar.
Three bursaries will be awarded for an eight-week artist residency at Sacatar?s beachside estate on the island of Itaparica in Brazil. The bursary includes:

  • Airfare from the artist?s closest international airport to Salvador, Bahia, Brazil (arranged and provided by UNESCO/Aschberg)
  • A personal studio appropriate to the artist?s discipline
  • A private room with attached bath
  • Meal service
  • Logistical support for the duration of the artist?s stay

During the residency, the artist is free to use the time and space as he or she sees fit, but we encourage artists to take full advantage of our beachside location on the island of Itaparica, across the bay from Salvador, Brazil, in the heart of the Brazilian state of Bahia, with its strong local culture deeply rooted in traditions out of Africa.
Applicants to the UNESCO/Aschberg bursaries must be
between the ages of 25 and 35 at the time of application;
born and living in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Russia and/or the former socialist republics, Australia, New Zealand and/or the Pacific Islands (that is, from anywhere in the world except from the Americas or Western Europe).
Artists may submit applications in the following disciplines:

  • Visual Arts (including performance, photography, handicrafts, architecture, etc.)
  • Music Composition
  • Creative Writing (in any language)

Full details can be found under APPLICATION at?www.sacatar.org.
The three UNESCO/Aschberg bursaries will be awarded for the following eight-week residency session:
6 MAY ? 1 JULY 2013

Applications must be sent electronically to?unesco-aschberg@sacatar.org. There is no application fee for the UNESCO/Aschberg Bursaries for Artists Programme.
Click on the APPLICATION page at?www.sacatar.org?for full details about how to apply for one of the UNESCO/Aschberg bursaries to Sacatar and to DOWNLOAD the UNESCO/Aschberg Application Form.


‘Where is Democracy?’ based on Kolaveri D , is a satire on the state of democracy in Gujarat. Exposing the myth of Vibrant Gujarat the song raises questions about corruption, poverty, women’s conditions, the atmosphere of fear and how the image of one leader has been promoted while others have been pushed to a corner. Sung by Priyank Upadhyay, it has been directed and shot by young Anhad filmmaker Arma Ansari. While Manish Dhakad has acted in the music video, words by Shabnam Hashmi .

 Kolaveri D latest version 17th August, 2012

Under African Skies

An Album About Healing, Made in a Wounded Land
?Under African Skies,? About the Paul Simon Album ?Graceland?

NYT Critics’ Pick

Luise Gubb

Paul Simon with Ladysmith Black Mambazo in ?Under African Skies,? a documentary about his 1986 album, ?Graceland.?

Published: May 10, 2012
Music, politics and race: To what degree does a style belong to the people who developed it? At what point, if any, does musical fusion become musical theft? Is the greater good served by a noble project if it involves the flouting of solemn rules? And once the rules have changed, and the noise has died down, how much do these debates really matter?Those questions echo throughout?Under African Skies,? Joe Berlinger?s enlightening documentary about the making of ?Graceland,? Paul Simon?s masterwork, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. The film, by the co-director of the ?Paradise Lost? trilogy, does an excellent job of recapitulating the controversies surrounding the album?s creation without bearing down too heavily on old news, while subtly taking Mr. Simon?s side against his critics. Continue reading “Under African Skies”

Unknown bird

Drifting in cage and out again
Hark unknown bird does fly
Shackles of my mind
If my arms could entwine
With them I would thee bind
Rooms it had eight
And doors it had nine
Windows betwixt you find
Up above the glittering hall
Mirrors might make you blind
What fate alas makes bird do thus
Caged bird breaks free to fly
Of bamboo raw the cage I saw
This mind of mine still longs oh so
Lalon Fakir cries as he sees with his eyes
The cage wither and die

Lalon Fakir Shah (1771-1890) was a Bangali philospher and poet, who refused to be classified according to class, caste or religion. Born in what is now Kushtia, in Bangladesh, his verses dealt with the relationship between the body and soul, with the cage being the metaphor for the body and the bird the symbol fo the soul.
New forms of slavery create new kinds of chains; violence suffered in silence, ancestral lands commandeered, resistance made illegal. How many masks does the freedom to profit wear now? As an activist I want to go beyond walls built to occupy territories, beyond bombs dropped to coerce the unarmed, and cells built to house the ‘other’. As an artist, I want to paint with colours that don’t yet exist and use words I have yet to invent. As a photographer, I want to see how far the light will reach beyond the cage.
Two songs by Arif Baul sung at Lalon shah Bottola Modhupurnima Sadhushangha

Not for art's sake

Abstract of keynote presentation given at National University of Taiwan

8th January 2012. Taipei

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One of the videos presented. A compilation from several videos on major protests in 2011
Long before CSR had become a buzzword and superstars and corporates began to find it essential to have pet social causes to support, we had set up Drik, a small organisation in Bangladesh, which made social justice its raison d’?tre.
Over two decades later, when my show on extra judicial killings at the gallery of Drik, was interpreted by a group of international curators as a ?fantastic performance?. It was time for me to take stock, and see where the art world situated itself and whether I belonged to this marketplace.
As collective movements go, the sub-continent has had its share. Colonial rule, oppression by the landed gentry, women?s struggle for equality in a patriarchal society and the injustice of caste have all been challenged. The solidarity of sustained groups, often against overwhelmingly stronger entities with far greater resources. had been a trademark for undivided India and for Bengal in particular.
It was the dynamics of a ruling class propped up by local agents who stood to profit from inequality, that led to the Gandhian strategy of non-violent resistance. Other methods had also been tried, and Subhas Chandra Bose, with a much more militant outlook, also had a huge following. The Tebhaga peasant movement by the Kisan Sabha had led to laws being formulated that limited the share of the landlords.
Partition did not cure these ills. The ouster of the British did not break up the class structure, but replaced one set of exploiters with another. The British, and other imperial powers continued to maintain unequal trade relations, sometimes in the guise of aid.
Cultural activists in Bangladesh had operated within this milieu. With the military under the control of the West wing, the more populous East Pakistan felt the weight of oppression. Military rule became the vehicle for continued repression but failed to quell the unrest and even the final genocidal attack on the people of East Pakistan, was repulsed by a countrywide resistance.
An independent Bangladesh, free of foreign occupiers, should have been a land free of repression. The reality was very different and cultural activists have had to find new ways of resistance. This has required documentation, articulation and tools of creative expression to deal with injustice in many forms. Having been failed by the major political parties (both government and opposition), cultural actors formed their own groups. Operating with minimum resources, we devised numerous initiatives to mobilise public opinion. Using both new and traditional media, as well as the networking ability of social media we formed lean and tenacious campaigns that chipped away at the establishment and its cohorts insisting on being heard and bent on achieving justice.
But the corporatization of modern Bangladesh has brought about many changes. I remember as a child that we used to respond to natural disasters by grouping together, singing songs, raising money, collecting food and old clothes and going out to affected areas to distribute them. We now leave such activities to the NGOs. Social movements are now sponsored by multinationals and protesters in rallies have sunshades parading the brand logos of telecom companies.
We had simultaneously taken on the hegemony of the west and its new southern accomplices, as well as the repressive regimes that operated within the nation state. But today we also need to examine how social movements have been appropriated, and our inability to operate without ?funding? regardless of the cause seriously limits our capacity for social and political intervention.
As an artist, as an activist, and as an organizer, I have along with my colleagues taken on technology, art, education and culture in its diverse forms and have presented a cohesive front that has challenged the military, major political parties and corporates, while continuing to operate independently within public and private spheres.
The presentation attempts to show how, by resisting not only the formal entities that have usurped power, but also the cultural norms that attempt to pigeon-hole cultural practice in terms of ?fine art?, I as an individual artist, as well as worker in a commune, have tried to ensure that our ?art? does not limit itself to admiration in a gallery. It breathes the gunpowder laden air of street battles with police, the dank vapours of the factory floor and pervades the silence of patriarchal inner chambers.
Shahidul Alam
8th January 2012

Lokkhi Terra Concert at Drik

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Drik, Droom Caf? and friends of Lokkhi Terra
have pleasure in inviting


to an evening of Cuban classics, Afro-beat, samba and funky world fusion music

Lokkhi Terra Jazz Quartet

Kishon Khan ? piano; Jimmy Martinez ? bass;
Javier Camilo – percussion, lead vocals; Tansay Omar ? drums

Venue: Drik Roof top terrace

Date & Time: Friday, 6 January 2012 at 6:00 pm

Twelve musicians are at the core of the band Lokkhi Terra and will mix traditions from around the world, using Bengali folk and groove as their starting points. They have all performed around the world at venues such as Ronnie Scotts, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, the House of Commons, Glastonbury and at Womad.? They were one of the critics’ choices at this year?s Womad festival in the UK, and was the band chosen to perform at the closing ceremony of the South Asian Games 2010.
Lokkhi Terra’s two albums No Visa Required, and Che Guevara?s Rickshaw Diaries, received much critical acclaim around the world.
Full Press Release