Smearing faces with gulal and dancing to the tunes of some of the finest international jazz musicians in the culturally-rich city of Jodhpur –that’s how we celebrated Holi this year. Thanks to the Jodhpur Jazz Safari for making it happen via Colour Me Pink. Read on to find out all the highlights from this two-day musical extravaganza! By Nandini Shukla
Who would not love to celebrate the colourful festival of Holi with a glimpse of Jodhpur’s royal heritage and culture! Jodhpur Jazz Safari curated this amazing opportunity, in the form of Colour Me Pink, which attracted visitors from around the globe, who were looking to experience the grand celebration amidst the desert city. Organised by Reggie Singh, a proud member of Jodhpur’s founding family, the event paints an ancient picture of the town where the clans come together adorning turbans and white bandhgalas to honour the festival and to greet the spring season.
The first day of the event started with an evening witnessing the beautiful pink sunset around the pool at the Camel Camp Osian in the historic city of Uthuspura (now called Osian). Sipping on a drink while grooving to the beats of Farhan Rehman, a Mumbai-based DJ and music producer, is how the gala began. The ritual burning of Holika on the highest dune in the Thar Desert followed by the performances of Rajasthani traditional musicians, singers and dancers mesmerised everyone. A night full of ceremonial affairs paved our way towards the anticipated stage performances on the dunes under the desert sky.
The first jazz performer of the night, the trio from France, Karpatt, made us tap our feet to the intoxicating mixture of French songs, gipsy jazz and rock South American rhythms with small electro touches here and there. The vibe of the night took an interesting turn as the local musicians joined the performing band with the traditional Rajasthani instruments and dancers. As the refreshing rhythms filled our hearts, the next band, Bombay Bassment took the centre stage and made everyone shake a leg. The Mumbai-based urban music act filled the crowd with energy and made them dance around the stage on the beats of their hits such as Bam Bam and Pump It Up. The performance took us back to the old school hip-hop days and made us sing along on top of our vocal cords.
We started the second day with a fist full of pink gulal at the Holi lunch party. All the faces smeared in festive colours grooved to the mixes by the Reggae Rajahs, a crew of DJs and MCs who focus on promoting dub, roots reggae and dancehall music. After the upbeat performance by the Reggae Rajahs, it was the time to hit the city in a convoy of jeeps down the main street to the Clock Tower. The cavalcade allowed us to celebrate the grand festival in the blue city with the local musicians and dancers. All of us whirled and rejoiced to the beats of the dholak, harmonium and other traditional instruments as we passed through the beautiful Pal Haveli and soaked in the glory of the stunning architecture of the city. We took our time to freshen up after the majestic celebration while dreaming of the grand finale evening that would bring forth some live music at Maharaja Dalip Singh’s ancestral home. While drooling over the traditional dinner cooked by Chieftans and the old families of Jodhpur, the night became young as Bollyjazz took the centre stage.
The classic 50s and 60s Hindi cinema tunes and Jazz rhythms created a retro aura for the farewell party. Karpatt, once again, concluded the night with their thrilling music and contagious energy.
The Jodhpur Jazz Safari is a must-include in your music festival list. So make sure you don’t miss the next edition!