Dhruv Arts presents London International Arts Festival – Nov/Dec 2018

Taking you from the Bohemian streets of Shoreditch to Kings Cross’ finest contemporary cultural institutions, the sixth edition of the London International Arts Festival (LIAF) is a pan-London celebration of the capital’s most exciting music and culture. Running for six nights across four different venues, LIAF is a must for anyone wanting to know what London truly sounds like right now.

Curated by the Indian violinist Jyotsna Srikanth, LIAF celebrates the many colourful cultures of London’s historic East End in some of its landmark venues. 2018’s handpicked line-up spotlights the best up-and-coming world music bands alongside masters of the South Indian classical world.

LIAF is hosted by Dhruv Arts, a UK-based not-for-profit organisation that provides music education and workshops for all ages along with performances of South Asian, Carnatic and world art forms.

The first LIAF took place in 2012 and has since featured artists from across the globe; India, Mexico, Serbia, Turkey and North America to name a few. Alongside world-class concerts, LIAF offers hands-on masterclasses providing a crucial platform for cross-cultural and multi-generational artistic interaction. Festival founder, curator and violin virtuoso Jyotsna Srikanth explains; ‘What started as a desire to showcase the very best of South Indian Carnatic music has expanded into a far richer tapestry of music and arts originating from different continents’.

Saturday 24 November 2018: Redbridge Town Hall, Ilford

An exciting South Indian Carnatic feast from eminent artists of the South Indian tradition, presented continuously for 8 hours.

Full line up

2 pm – Inauguration

2.15 pm Dhruv Choir

2.30 pm Dhruv’s Carnatic Violin Orchestra

3.00 pm Suganya Balan – Bharathanatyam

3.45 pm Pavithra Viswanathan and students

4.45 pm Dr. Suma Sudhindra, Talk on ‘How to appreciate Carnatic music?’

5.00 pm Dr. Suma Sudhindra – Carnatic Veena concert

6.45 pm – Harish Sivaramakrishnan (of Agam) – Carnatic vocal concert

9.00 pm Rama Sasikala Lanka (Youth promotion) – Carnatic vocal

9.40 pm Savita Sundaresan (Youth promotion) – Carnatic vocal

Headline Acts

Harish Sivaramakrishnan was born into a family of Carnatic musicians and was introduced to the art at the age of four by his mridangist father H Sivaramakrishnan. Harish learnt the art for 19 years and went on to learn from Prof. Aayamkudi Mani, a highly sought after teacher and performer in Kerala for another 9 years. In the year 2003, Harish along with his friends Swamy and Ganesh co-founded Agam – a genre defining Carnatic progressive rock band which in the last decade grew into one of the most successful and critically acclaimed independent music bands from India. Harish continues to perform Carnatic music as a solo musician, along with his band Agam.

Suma Sudhindra is the foremost exponent of the Veena in her generation of Musicians. A very rare blend of the classical conservatism with a belief in evolving to the present, her range of work has extended from the scholarly to performances of immaculate skill and creative contours. Her recent contribution to the world of music is her own new innovation ‘The Tarangini Veena’ which has made a tremendous impact in the music circles. She is the Director – Outreach, Indian Music Experience Trust, Bangalore, a member of Academy Of Music, Chowdaiah Memorial Hall, Bangalore

 28th Dec 2018 St Mary’s Church, Rotherhithe in collaboration with Tuned In London, 7.45pm

Piers Faccini

Crossing and blurring musical boundaries is an art form for Piers Faccini. Treading the frontiers which delineate one country from another, Faccini finds his inspiration in the cultural ambiguity of borderlands. If his songs were maps, they’d stretch from the English moors to the Saharan dunes via the plains of the Mediterranean.

 29th Dec 2018 Rich Mix, Shoreditch 8pm

100 Strings – Kiranpal Singh

Carnatic Connection – Bollywood Brass band with Jyotsna Srikanth

100 Strings featuring Kiranpal Singh on Santoor and Dheeraj Sahai-Mishra on Tabla, showcasing their new release on Suriya Recording. The album was recorded at the Abbey Road Studio.

Bollywood Brass Band is UK’s pioneering Indian-style wedding band, playing the great tunes and compulsively danceable rhythms of Bollywood. Twice nominated for Songlines World Music Awards, the band has performed all over the world – in venues, at festivals, and for Indian weddings in the UK, Norway, India, Thailand and South Africa.

Carnatic Connection is a collaboration with South Indian violinist Jyotsna Srikanth – a fusion of Bollywood and Carnatic filmi sounds; from the legendary composer Illayaraja to the ubiquitous AR Rahman, whose classics Jiya Jale, Kehta Hai Mehra Dil and Kehna Hi Kya feature Jyotsna Srikanth’s mellifluous violin playing, while the Oscar-winning Jai Ho is given the dance-floor treatment. Following the success of their collaborative CD, Carnatic Connection (2016), Jyotsna Srikanth & Bollywood Brass Band (BBB) have produced an EP of new material based on South Indian raags and taals. Themes and grooves for Carnatic Suite: A Day In Bangalore were composed by Jyotsna whilst in Bangalore, and WhatsApp’ed to Kay and Sarha in London! BBB’s arrangers then skilfully joined the dots, combining the subtleties of Indian violin with the eclectic palette of BBB’s brass and percussion, and the South Indian percussion and beatbox wizardry of RN Prakash.

1st Dec 2018 Kings Place, Kings Cross 8pm


Nordic Raga

Indotranceltic combine Western and Indian strings with bansuri flute and electronica, creating expansive emotional soundscapes. Worlds are reimagined and journeys taken from the listener’s room to places both ancient and new. From Celtic to Indian landscapes, sound worlds of mixed instrumentation transport the singers towards the next dream.

Nordic Raga is collaboration three of Sweden’s most prominent folk musicians, Par Moberg (Saxophone), Dan Svensson (percussion) and Mats Eden (violin), and the South Indian Carnatic violin virtuoso Jyotsna Srikanth. Nordic Raga have already seen great success, performing at several festivals both in Scandinavia and the UK (including twice at the Edinburgh Fringe), a live concert in Stockholm broadcasted by National Swedish Radio, and via a new record released on Riverboat records.

2nd Dec 2018 The Empire Bar, Hackney 2.00pm

Silvia Balducci

Mother tongue

Mother Tongue is an Indie Country, Moody, Noirish, Post-Americana Duo writing and interpreting songs laced with observations of the dark, the hilarious and the absurd.” — Three Chords And The Truth 

Silvia Balducci is a specialist of the new chilean song movement, she has produced two “stunning” albums reviving the repertoire of Chile’s most significant composers: Violeta Parra and Victor Jara. She has recently toured South America. She will be performing a selection of songs from her most loved repertoire.

You can visit the links below for tickets and other information related to the fest: