Sat | Mar 24, 2018

Indian talent at Hope Zoo

Published:Thursday | February 9, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju
Kyran Rampersad
Shailendra Madarie

Jamaicans will have the opportunity on Saturday to enjoy an evening of Indian music, dancing and culinary delights during the staging of Mehfil 2017 at the Hope Zoo Theatre.

This year's staging marks a return of displays of some aspects of the rich cultural and traditional Indian heritage which are very popular in Jamaica. Started by a group of culturally conscious group of persons of Indian heritage in 1990, Mehfil was last staged here in 2006. The purpose was to promote, propagate and teach Indian music among Jamaicans by way of cultural exchange with Caribbean countries - Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname - as well as the United States of America, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Hosted by Friends of the Indian Community under the patronage of the Honourable Kenneth Benjamin, Mehfil 2017 is a welcome cultural recharge for Caribbean Indians whose ancestors sailed to the region from India some 170 years ago.

Among the artistes down to perform is Shailendra Madarie, who started his tabla education at age nine and gave his first solo performance a year later. His expertise and popularity have taken the Surinamese native to Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, French Guiana, California, Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis as well as the The Netherlands.

Kyran Rampersad is a certified dancer, model, belly dance teacher, violinist and expert keyboard player.

Surinder Pherai is a singer and musician who specialises in Indian classical music and whose expertise on the harmonium and dholak has led to growing demand for his services abroad.

Saturday's event gets under way at 7:30 p.m.