‘Ghazalaw’ to perform at Ghazal Bahaar in Mumbai

british councilThe six- piece group led by singer–musician duo blend Welsh folk and Indian ghazal to create a unique and exquisite Ghazal performance



Mumbai, 29 January 2015


Celebrating the affinity between the Indian Ghazal and the Welsh folk tradition, Mumbai singer Tauseef Akhtar and Welsh singer-songwriter Gwyneth Glyn will weave the love poetry of their two ancient traditions together to the accompaniment of harp, tabla, guitar and harmonium as ‘Ghazalaw’ a unique and exquisite collaboration. The group are set to perform at the popular Ghazal Bahaar Festival in Mumbai at Rangsharda on 31 January 2015. The proceeds of the Festival will be donated to SBMS Vriddh Anand Ashram, Akurdi a home for the aged in Pune.


Tauseef Akhtar and Gwyneth Glyn came together to explore their musical affinity with support from Wales Arts International in 2012. Over six days in the Roundhouse, St Hilary, ‘Ghazalaw’ was born. Welsh harpist Georgia Ruth joined the duo in Mumbai to develop the songs further with musicians Ashish Jha, (tabla),  Manas Kumar(violin),  and Sanjoy Das(guitar). Ghazalaw has performed in Mumbai, at the Desert Festival, Delhi and featured at the Indiearth Exchange in Chennai. With support from the Arts Council of Wales and generous sponsorship from Air India, the musicians returned to the Round House in January 2013 to record their eponymously-titled debut album ‘Ghazalaw’.

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Sharon Memis, Director West India, British Council says “Our Folk Nations project focuses on music as the vehicle for cultural exchange, and aims to connect India and the UK to the other’s contemporary folk music. Having emerged from a creative collaboration between musicians from Wales and from India, the wonderful ensemble of Ghazalaw returns to perform in Mumbai. A unique treat for music lovers, an event not to be missed”.


At first glance, India and Wales seem to be distant relations, but as you dig deeper, both the Welsh folk and Indian Ghazal traditions evolve from ancient poetic forms that share surprising affinities. There is a strong historic linguistic link, as both the Welsh language and the language of the Ghazal (sung in Ghazalaw in Urdu) both evolved from sanskrit and a common Indo-European language. The parallels with the Welsh linguistic and cultural heritage are striking, as are the voices of Tauseef and Gwyneth which seamlessly weave music, songs and poetry fused from both worlds.


The group is excited to perform at the Festival. Singer Tauseef Akhtar says ‘The Ghazal audience has whole heartedly welcomed Ghazalaw especially because of the blend of Welsh Folk. Gwyneth Glyn is a treat for listeners. Her ability to understand and express the nuances of Ghazal through Welsh folk is phenomenal. Georgia Ruth Williams adds more beauty to the whole experience through her silky voice and mesmerizing harp.”

The group will also be the opening act at the Kolkata Book Fair, which focuses on UK as this year’s theme. ‘I am excited to be returning to India to perform with Ghazalaw, especially at two such prestigious events. I can’t wait to share our unique blend of Welsh folk music and ghazal singing with lovers of poetry at the Kolkata Book Fair. It will also be a true honour to take part in Ghazal Bahaar, Mumbai, alongside many of the greatest names in Ghazal singing.’ says Gwyneth.



  • Ghazalaw is a Theatr Mwldan, Marvels Of The Universe Co-production originated by Wales Arts International. Developed with the support of Wales Arts International, Arts Council Wales and Welsh Government, working in partnership with Air India and the British Council.



  • Tickets for the Mumbai performance are available on www.bookmyshow.com  and at Rangsharda ( 26430544) and Rhythm House ( 43222701)


  • Ghazalaw will also perform at the Kolkata Book fair.
  • The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes. We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 20 per cent of our turnover which last year was £864 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally. 


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