RadioandMusic
| 22 Oct 2021
Idea Jalsa on its way to achieve 150 million viewers: Durga Jasraj

The 2013 'Idea Jalsa - Music for the Soul’, the Indian Music concert tour across 12 cities, featuring over 100 artistes will conclude in Mumbai on 24 March.

A brainchild of Durga Jasraj, ‘Idea Jalsa - Music for the Soul’, is in its seventh year, bringing together legends, maestros, stars, young maestros and rising stars of Indian music, to present a rich and diverse showcase of culture and all of it through purely live music performances. The key highlight of Idea Jalsa Concert series is in keeping with the philosophy of promoting and showcasing the next generation in every concert.

Speaking with Radioandmusic.com, Jasraj shared her experience and few memorable moments.

Excerpts:

Why did you decide to conclude the event in Mumbai?

Idea Jalsa 2013 is a 12 city tour and has emerged as India’s largest concert tour featuring over 50 genres of Music, with over 100 artistes across 12 cities, and covering about 30,000 audiences collectively across the venues.  There was nothing deliberate to conclude the event in Mumbai.

Has Idea Jalsa concerts helped in promoting Indian music?

Our objective has been to connect with the audiences at the basic level with an on-ground concert, providing an opportunity to soak in the culture, along with the musical melodies and savour the Indian music.  The journey has been quite encouraging thanks to audiences across cities who have come in large numbers and patronized not only the concept of Idea Jalsa in particular, but Indian Music in general.  

We always go with a mix of large indoor event or outdoor event.  In the 2013 edition Idea Jalsa concerts were conducted in special venues in special cities.  Some highlights include: Concert in Vishakapatnam by the seaside that attracted so many tourists. In Shantiniketan it was at the Vishwabharati Univeristy featuring their alumni Desikotam recipient, legendary vocalist and doyen of the Mewati Gharana, Padma Vibhushan Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj in concert, in Varanasi we had the distinction of performing on Tulsi Ghat; in Udaipur we performed at Ship Gram; while at Agra we performed as part of the Taj festival and we will be having a programme on Indian music in a mall in Bangalore.    

How is Idea Jalsa exploiting digital platforms?

The uniqueness of Idea Jalsa as a festival that not only travels to cities, unlike other festivals that is held at a single venue, in a city over the years, but is also webcast live on https://www.youtube.com/indianmusicforsoul and on www.facebook.com/JalsaMusicForTheSouls thus enabling audiences across the globe to get a live experience of great performances of the artistes. 

How was the experience this year?

The media has been supportive of our initiative. Responses at cities have been great for the concerts.  In Chandigarh, we had to change the venue last minute from an outdoor to an Indoor venue on account of rain.   We did not even have adequate time to make a public announcement, except put up banners around the city.  We were pleasantly surprised to witness a full-house in the new venue. 

At Bhopal, we were the first ever to feature a male-female jugalbandi on the tabla in Master Yeshwant and Rimpa Shiva and the crowds loved them. 

We have been successful in promoting and showcasing the next generation in every concert.

How has the journey been?

The journey of Idea Jalsa began in 2006 as a ground concert tour across 39 cities. Idea Jalsa that started with one channel, and one slot has now managed to be featured across various channels that includes the terrestrial Doordarshan and many satellite channels. The show is featured across various channels across Terrestrial and C & S networks.  International telecast on the leading Zee TV network of 165 countries has ensured a world-wide footprint of Jalsa – ensuring that audiences across the world are exposed to Indian Music performances across various genres in a contemporary fashion.  The show that achieved a distinction of surpassing 100 million (10 crores) viewers in 2011 is already on the way to achieve 150 million (15 crores) viewers soon. 

Idea Jalsa the largest multimedia presentation of Indian music has provided the Indian music industry with a diverse collection of timeless content and a large repertoire of classical and contemporary Indian music. The diversity of music forms has been challenging, but successfully adapted to various multi-media formats like radio, television, inflight programmes across eight international airlines. 

What are the future plans?

The challenge is to evolve a new type of presentation to seed an appreciation for music and general and traditions in particular. Leveraging television as a medium, and evolving the format suitable for viewers was the first initiative that was thought of.  Use of technology, ie LED walls during TV performances, have not just enhanced the overall presentation, but also stepped out of the archaic forms of visual appeal. Redesigning Aspects of Performing Art, ie presentation on stage, styling of clothes, conversing with audiences and getting intimate with them, etc. have become a normal habit since the Jalsa experience.

Our endeavour is to showcase Indian music across cities by providing a platform for audiences to discover the treasures of Indian Music that has a rich legacy, and versatility unparalleled.  The challenge -- presenting your own traditions in a manner that's contemporary and relevant, and making the youth connect to their own culture and music.

Firstly we will be announcing our next Talent Hunt soon to nurture the future.

We will be promoting our concept of Panchatatva – a live concert comprising nine jewels of India, combined both Hindustani and Carnatic classical styles, with original Sanskrit verses from the Vedas to create an enchanting and exquisite musical experience.