Leading Indo-Welsh band Khamira performs at the 19th Ulsan Jazz Festival and the 9th ACC World Music Festival in South Korea

Indo-Welsh collaborative outfit Khamira gave scintillating recitals at the 19th Ulsan Jazz Festival in Ulsan, South Korea; and the 9th ACC World Music Festival in Gwangju, South Korea. Khamira is a collaborative outfit which was primarily conceptualized by Indian musician Aditya Balani (guitar), who is also the Founder of the Global Music Institute (GMI) and Welsh musician Tomos Willians (trumpet) who is also the founding member of the Welsh band Burrum. The other members include Suhail Yusuf Khan (sarangi and vocals), Vishal Nagar (tabla) and Welsh musicians Dave Jones (piano), Aidan Thorne (bass) and Mark O’Connor (drums).

Khamira’s music is somewhere between the cinematic scope of the Pat Metheny Group and the grunge funk of Miles Davis’ 70s band, inter-twinned with passages of melancholic Welsh folk music and Indian classical virtuosity. The idea of blending jazz and Indian music is not new; John Coltrane and other members of the 60s avantgarde incorporated Indian scales and rhythms into their music and these experiments were followed by the more cross-cultural sounds of John Mayer, Collin Walcott, John McLaughlin, and others. Khamira falls into this very lineage except for the addition of traditional Welsh folk music making it an unusual and exciting combination.

Band members of Khamira

Held between 21st August 2018 and 25th August 2018, the concerts saw musicians from around the globe come together on a common platform. In recent years, these two festivals have established themselves in South Korea’s live music scene with their stellar lineups and top-quality acts. In the past as well, Khamira has performed at the Seoul Music Week, South Korea. The band also undertook a comprehensive tour of Wales, culminating with a sold-out performance at the internationally renowned Hay Festival; and has toured India extensively.

Owing to the efforts of various performers, jazz in its ever-vibrant form is growing again. A plethora of jazz festivals such as the ones in South Korea is held around the world every year, providing a global stage for artists. It was indeed a privilege to perform at these two internationally renowned events. The idea behind the band stemmed from creating a unique project that would seamlessly blend different sounds and integrate two disciplines of music. We hope to break more grounds in future and present music that is not only pleasant to the ears but also creative and innovative –

Aditya Balani, Jazz Musician, Khamira Band Member and Founder, Global Music Institute

Aditya is an eclectic guitarist, composer and songwriter, and the founder of the GMI. This first of its kind institute in India aims to promote musical diversity with an emphasis on national and international collaboration in faculty for teaching and performance. Aditya was chosen as one the featured artists for Jazz Revelation Records for 2010 and nominated for best song (Jazz/Blues) for the BIG STAR Indian Music Academy awards.

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