Jodhpur RIFF Returns With 16th Edition In 2023

Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort will host Jodhpur RIFF 2023 from the 27th to the 30th of October


Jodhpur RIFF is back this year with a line-up that brings music from around the world. From the 27th to the 30th of October, Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort will host performers, showcasing the best of Indian and global roots music, dance, and collaborations between artists. 

“Every year, we see folk artists amaze us with their talent and skill. And we remain deeply impressed by the regard they have for their heritage and their willingness to pass on this priceless oral legacy to their heirs,” said HH Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Marwar-Jodhpur, Chief Patron of the festival. “We are very happy to provide a platform like Jodhpur RIFF to these incredible artists so they may rightly be recognised and celebrated for their artistry and exemplary musicianship.”

This will be the 16th year of Jodhpur RIFF discovering, supporting, and providing a platform to Indian and Rajasthani roots music traditions as well as bringing globally celebrated roots musicians to India. This festival promises music from countries such as France, Australia, Cabo Verde, Italy, and Estonia, as well as diverse Indian regions, with an array of Rajasthani folk traditions. 

Festival Director, Divya Bhatia said, “This year, we are very excited to begin a whole host of new collaborations and bring collaborations amongst Indian artists to the fore. We have Rajasthani folk artists collaborating with contemporary Indian jazz musicians, and with percussionists from different roots traditions. We will also be bringing ‘roots’ dance to you in a way you haven’t seen before — kathak dance pieces set to Rajasthani folk songs and percussion.”

Rajasthani folk artists have made their mark internationally and nationally, collaborating with musicians from other traditions and nations, and have come together, themselves, in innovative ways, to present their own music. One such act is SAZ, a band comprising a trio of young Rajasthani folk musicians who have rearranged traditional Rajasthani lyrics to relatively more contemporary music as well as written original songs that speak to and popularise the genre among today’s generations. 

Jodhpur RIFF 2023 is slated to have a special focus on Rajasthan’s percussion instruments — the dholak, bhapang and khartal. With performances and interactive sessions, audiences will be introduced to these lesser-known artists from the genre.

In accordance with its mission of introducing Rajasthan’s rich folk music to audiences of all ages, Jodhpur RIFF will continue its tradition of the ‘Bal Mela’ where children from schools across Jodhpur are invited to Veer Durga Das Memorial Park. Here, they will witness interactive performances from several troupes specialising in ghoomer, kathputli, kachchi ghodi, teraah taali, and Rajasthan’s Circus. Jodhpur RIFF hosted more than 2,500 students at the Bal Mela last year.

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