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Music in the hills: An off beat Kumaoni experience

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New Delhi, May 20 (PTI): A bunch of young local musicians and label Amarrass Records have come together to give music enthusiasts an unforgettable experience of qawwali, Kumaoni music and cuisine with river Kalsa serving as the picturesque backdrop.
Amarrass Records Music Tour, organised at a serene riverside resort in village Chanfi, about 18 kms from Bhimtal, is a two-day experience that ditches the crowded music festival format for a more intimate and informal experience where listeners and artists can bond over music and food.
The one-of-a-kind musical tour is curated by Amarrass Records, launched in 2010 by Delhi-based Ashutosh Sharma and Ankur Malhotra, who is settled in Wisconsin, US. The label, known for releasing an album by Rajasthani folk group The Manganiyar Seduction, has since worked with Rajasthani musicians Lakha Khan and Padma Shri awardee Sakar Khan and backed Barmer Boys.
Sharma said he was inspired to come up with the idea of a music tour a decade ago when he started working with Sakar Khan and realised that after a certain age, it is not possible for local artists to travel. “We thought why not take the audiences to the artists in small groups and provide them with an exclusive experience. We did some random tours…. the idea was to organise it properly, but then COVID happened and the plan got delayed,” he told PTI.
Just before the pandemic, Sharma met 28-year-old Sarvjeet Tamta from Uttarakhand’s Almora and signed his qawwali group Rehmat-e-Nusrat with the label Amarrass Records.
Sharma said Tamta’s interest in Kumaoni folk music as well as cuisine inspired him to organise the music tour in the Nainital region, over 360 kms away from the national capital.
“We thought we could start the tour in the hills as well as Rajasthan…. So we planned both the regions but we were able to launch the hill tour first. Hopefully by October, we will start in Rajasthan,” he added. Tamta considers legendary Pakistani sufi-qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan as his guru. He said through his band, he wants to pay tribute to his teacher.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttp://www.thehillstimes.in
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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