CHENNAI: The recurring theme of the Shakti Foundation’s annual fundraiser has been to bring people from all backgrounds under one musical roof for a singular cause. In its 29th edition, this year, the foundation’s event titled ‘Guruttama’ will be held at The Music Academy on February 23.
The programme will include performances by pianist Stephen Devassy, drummer Rodney Holmes, tabla player Bickram Ghosh, bass player Dominique Di Piazza, electric guitarist Matthias Muller, and violinist Abhijith Nair.
“More than music, this performance will be an experience to share peace, compassion, and truth between ourselves. The Shakti Foundation is all about changing the world through charity, and by helping, supporting and understanding each other,” says Devassy. The 37-year-old artist will celebrate his birthday on the day of the concert.
Directed by Rajkumar Rajamani, the two-and-a-half hour concert will begin with classical arrangement, before moving on to Indian fusion, and will conclude with jazz and blues compositions, said Devassy. “It’s going to be aggressive, it’s going to be soft, it’s going to be mellow — it’s going to be everything,” he shares.
The efforts of three months of planning by the performing artistes and Shakti Foundation will culminate with all the proceeds from the concerts being used to purchase laparoscopy equipment for Adhiparasakthi Institute Of Medical Sciences and Research Hospital, Melmaruvathur. But, the concert is more than just money, says Vasanth Raghuvir, chairman of the foundation.
“The main emotion we want people to take away from the concert is sensitivity. This sensibility only comes from within, and has to be emphasised in a way that people understand its seriousness,” she says.
Stemming from her experiences with her son, who was diagnosed with a condition that forced him to use a wheelchair for mobility, the foundation has been working towards accessibility and making the city a barrier-free place for decades. “It used to be a challenge — everything, from a haircut to school —because of inaccessibility. Almost no places had ramps,” shares Raghuvir, adding that the current scenario in Chennai has improved greatly.
Urging the implementation of laws that make accessibility mandatory, she says, “All we ask for is that people begin to embrace persons with disability with empathy, and not sympathy.”
Donor passes for the concert, ‘Guruttama’, which will be held at The Music Academy on February 23, will be available at the Shakti Foundation’s office — 9, Manikeswari Road, Kilpauk. For details, call 9384827122, 9384827121, 9384827143, or 26611214.