Friday, July 06, 2007

AK Tallships : Making History

AK just made history in Newport by being the first Bengal performers in the Tallships cultural festival; I'm glad to be one of the lucky people to perform there being an AK member. It was a moving crowd and our audience varied from time to time from around 20 people to hundreds; our second slot was more successful, since it was later on in the day when more people came.

All in all it was a great experience and honor to be and perform with AK; it truly changed various aspects of my life. I want to thank Tallships for the great opportunity they gave us, and the entire AK family including Taps, Swapna mashi, Rahul da, Arjun, Karna, and many more.

It is really an honor and a lot of fun to be with AK.

- Nafiz (a.k.a. Fizz)
on behalf of AK

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Let music fill our hearts... through generations.

Our sons have performed with us many times in the past. But, we can say with certainty that this time they have enjoyed the most. We always wanted to give them music. And, music they have! That is what they live for! Our house is always rocking with music of all sorts.

In their younger days they accompanied us with 'our' vocals. In addition they have played spiritual music on their own (at Rammakrishna Vedanta Society). As a matter of fact Abu (Karna) plays cello at the Boston chapter on a regular basis. However, as they grew older, they became increasingly reluctant to play with us. (However, that is changing lately, and we hear a lot of Indian music being played at home.)

Furthermore, I think that it is difficult for youngsters to play with their parents, because they sort of feel 'traditional', 'old' etc. (I think). It is a mental barrier. This time Fawad was closer to their age (than ours, and even Taposh's), and they made the bonding. In fact they want to play more in our group or outside with Fawad, for example.

I must add that Babu and Abu (Arjun and Karna) were not the only next generation kids performing with their parents. Nila and Paula's daughters and son were there, Samina (Milli's daughter), Ajad's son and duaghter, and Arshi, Tammanaa's daughter. And, of course, Nafiz is an absolute delight. It's funny the way he imitates me (Rahul)! Neepa should be proud of him. (We would very much like Nafiz to get closer to Babu and Abu and make music in or outside AK). We all should be proud of our children performing with us without inhibition.

We must confess that we always wanted our sons to enjoy our music. We mostly do Rabindrasangeets, Nazrul geetis etc. They are slow and somewhat intricate in structure. Furthermore, 'high Bengali' in many Rabindrasangeets is an obstacle for them to comprehend the meaning. But this time, the simple folksy songs of AK, with their simplicity and rythmic structure caught their attention; and they enjoyed it. This is a big achievement for us; and we must thank everyone, particularly Fawad
and Taposh for making that connection to happen!

Let music fill our heart (and our children's heart too)!


Rahul & Swapna

From Tall Ships, RI organizers

AK team: I am usually not at a loss for words and this time the challenge is for me to limit myself to a few heart-felt remarks instead of the pages I could write.

For me the performance by your group, Amra Kojon, embodied the best elements of what the Tall ships festival is all about: learning about the cultures and people who are represented through the visit of ships and their cadets, celebrating life and each other's contributions, and drawing closer together through the medium of dance, song and music. Your group had it all and expressed it with joy and passion!

Betty and I thank you profoundly and so do all those lucky enough to have experienced your performances at Tall Ships Rhode Island 2007.

I certainly plan to stay in touch with you and look forward to seeing you and Amra Kojon again.

Thanks for sending the wonderful photos. We will select some to keep the memories alive.

Elaine Williams, Co-chairman of Tall Ships entertainment with Betty Czech

Monday, July 02, 2007

Audience feedback

Here is some audience feedback

The AK Team

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tall Ships Festival, Newport RI - June 30, 2007

Here are pictures from the rehearsals on Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24

Pictures of the show

Pictures taken right after the show

To share your experiences, please email