First-ever online music concert by Kashmiri artists enthrall audience globally

Netizens hail organizers for holding Qaraar

Srinagar, June 08 (KNS): The famed Kashmiri music artists—who came together for the first-ever virtual concert in the Valley during the COVID-19 pandemic mesmerized their audience globally.
Named 'Qarar' (Solace), the three-hour (6-9 pm) concert on Sunday by Kashmiri vocalists and instrumentalists on Facebook was hold to cheer people up. Famed singer and chairman of The Kashmir Music Club, Waheed Jeelani and journalist, Nazir Ganaie, who organized the event, said that despite technical hiccups and internet proliferation—the artists were able to connect to the larger audience globally.
“We got an overwhelming response from the listeners across the globe,” the organizers said. “There were viewers connected from all across the globe—mostly our Kashmir diaspora. That was a great beginning of a humble initiative which not only brought artists in distress together but also connected the people, living during this pandemic.”
Apart from famed singer and composer, Waheed Jeelani, singers like Archana Jalali, from Ottawa in Canada, percussionist (Nutt), Ab Rashid Shah, journalist and Rabab player, Nazir Ganaie, vocalists including Ishfaq Kawa, Raja Bilal, Altaf Sahil and assistant professor and vocalist, Dr Shaista Ahmad among others at the studio here enthralled the online audience. Jeelani said it was a step to connect people during these trying times. Jalali, a noted singer, performed live with the Kashmiri audience and artists post 1990.
"The idea came because of the lockdown. We wanted to connect with people, provide some solace to their hearts in these times when art and entertainment got affected," he said.
The singer said the idea was to keep the art and culture alive and launch a platform for artists as art gatherings are unlikely to be allowed even after the lockdown is lifted. "I think I have not seen anything like this taking place in the country before. Not even Bollywood has taken such an initiative during this pandemic," he said.
"We couldn’t have huge gatherings because of COVID-19. So we wanted an alternative arrangement. This will also give a platform to budding and deserving young artists," he said.
Jeelani said The Kashmir Music Club would provide a platform to artists from other sectors as well in the future. Several eminent artists have hailed the idea and wished well to the organisers.
"I am delighted to know that you have initiated to hold an online digital music concert. I am sure that artists who are indoors because of the COVID 19 pandemic and have no platform to perform, such an online digital concert will prove as a milestone in the field of music in Kashmir. I wish you and your whole team great success in such wonderful endeavours," noted Kashmiri singer Shamima Dev Azad said.
Santoor maestro Bhajan Sopori, noted-theatre actor M K Raina, former ADG Doordarshan Ashok Jailkhani and other artists have, while appreciating the idea, released promotional videos on social media to support the initiative.
“We would do some more projects on the valley’s rich sufi and folk music—which would not only boost the local artists but it would infuse lease life into some dying art forms,” Nazir Ganaie said. (KNS)

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