In a harmonic fusion of east and west, Singaporean fusion band Varsha is set to team up with veteran guitarist Paul Danial and guest saxophonist Tim O’Dwyer onstage at the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) 2019, which returns for its 42nd year, featuring a line-up of iconic artists from around the world alongside the very best from Singapore.
In this performance, Varsha will premiere new original compositions, along with the group’s arrangements of classic jazz standards in the event titled ‘Impulse’ on June 1 and 2.
Since their debut in 2014, Varsha, a local group that blends their musical roots in the Indian culture with rhythmic music, has been pushing the boundaries of traditions with its synergy of styles, from jazz, classical Indian and popular Indian music. Members of the band include Dr Tony Makarome (Upright Bass), Mohamed Noor (Drums / Percussions), Sai Vigneshwar (Vocals) and Sai Akileshwar (Indian Percussions).
Adding to their unique sound on the occasion are veteran guitarist Paul Danial and guest saxophonist Tim O’Dwyer. In this performance, Varsha will premiere new original compositions, along with the group’s arrangements of classic jazz standards.
Commissioned by the National Arts Council and organised by Arts House Limited, Singapore’s pinnacle performing arts festival will be held from May 16 to June 2. This is the second SIFA to be helmed by Festival Director, Gaurav Kripalani.
“When I started my three-year journey as SIFA’s Festival Director, my goal was to identify individual artists around the world who have been ground-breaking in their respective art forms, and persuade them to come to Singapore. Artists who are ground-breaking in their fields have always inspired me. My hope is that they will also inspire both Singaporean artists, as well as audiences. As I am sure we will inspire them,” Kripalani said in a statement.
“From the various proposals and projects on the table, we chose the ones that would form a holistic festival of arts and ideas; that caters to our diverse audience over a three-year horizon, bringing the Festival to different dimensions; and taking the audience on journey with us,” he added.
SIFA 2019 organisers said they will be expanding the envelope beyond the traditional disciplines of music, theatre and dance by incorporating technology and multidisciplinary works and the programme this time includes innovative artists such as Huzir Sulaiman, Claire Wong, Ho Tzu Nyen and Goh Boon Teck.
“SIFA’s programming captures Singapore’s creativity and innovation, positioning the Festival not just as the pinnacle arts event on the local stage, but as a distinguished arts festival at a global level,” said Sarah Martin, CEO of Arts House Limited.
First launched as the Singapore Festival of Arts in 1977, the annual event has gone through several evolutions and inspired generations of art lovers and practitioners. Today, the highly-anticipated festival is a high-point on Singapore’s arts and cultural calendar.