Five Rivers Project Najma Akhtar, British born vocalist, songwriter, actor, achieved a place in world music by creating a new musical genre, introducing Jazz to the traditional genre of the Ghazal (Urdu ballad) and Sufi. This iconic pioneer is constantly being inspired by new sounds and musical genres that resonate with Indian Semi-Classical, Folk, Sufi, Jazz, Blues and American C&W. English is her first language, but Najma comfortably explores the bi-lingual aspect and looks at blues /covers / folk and Celtic all with an Indian twist. ‘Five Rivers’ takes you on a musical journey by subtly treating a few selected covers by renowned artists: Tim Buckley and Tim Hardin with nuances of Indian vocal, North African, Irish and Delta blues styles. Her last collaborative album ‘Rishte’ pushed the boundaries yet again by introducing psychedelic sounds to her list of eclectic influences.
Jac Holzman, Elektra Records’ former owner, wrote this note to Najma regarding her recorded version of Bryan Maclean’s ‘Old Man’ from Love’s Forever Changes album: “Your take is original, understated and true to the spirit of the original. Most important -- it works!”
Vocals & Harmonium: Najma Akhtar
Acoustic & Electric Violin: Chris Haigh
Bass Guitar: John Deemer
Guitar: Ramon Goose
Multi Percussion: Matt Fisher
Presented by Sama Arts Network in association with The Nehru Centre