This is the Jodhpur Riff you won’t see. Although the performance stages open to the public in the evening, the 555-year old fort and splendid Umaid Bhawan Palace become a living home for performers and artists from all over the world, who come there to perform at the festival.
Presented here are some private, intimate tales of bonding over music, performers from all over the world hanging out, collaborating, exchanging notes in different languages. Moments with themselves waiting to get onto the stage, the nervousness before facing a crowd, that last adjustment of headgear and makeup. In short, it’s how the performers see the festival. Moments from the lives of performers who inhabit the festival and live it.
Australian Mark Atkins playing the didgeridoo rehearses for a musical collaboration with Rajasthani artists at the Ali Akbar Khan Hall inside the Umaid Bhawan Palace
Danseuse Anurag Verma eyes the stage moments before her collaboration with Manganiyar folk musicians
108-year old Nemi Baba, legendary exponent of the Algoza, recites his ‘mantras’ before his ‘Living Legends’ performance. The red cloth in his hand conceals a string of rosary-like beads.
Witnessing the transformation of a male ‘behroopiya’ as he slaps on the pancake to look fairer. He will go on to collaborate and dance on stage to Rupa and the April Fishes’ catchy tunes.
The late Sakar Khan Manganiyar is fully absorbed in his rehearsal while his great-grandson, also a singer, sneaks up on him for a prank. Four generations of the family performed a special concert together in 2010.
Bhanwari Devi, caught in a lighter moment out-of-purdah. Bhanwari only ever performs on stage wearing a veil, as customs decree.
Joel Boasis (in hat), the resident sound engineer, discusses how the acoustics of the walled courtyard demand a different speaker setup. In the background, a group of Manganiyar children do their sound-check.
Jason Singh watches Juma Khan (sitting up) experiment with some new rhythms during a rehearsal in one of the unused rooms of the fort. Together, the musicians in the picture (and a few others) make up ‘Dharohar’ – an ensemble of folk musicians who have seen much international recognition.
Vinod Joshi (right), the Community Director of the festival, welcomes Kadar Khan Langa, a senior musician from the Langa community as he arrives after a long journey from his village.
Stef van Es (extreme right) is taught how to respond to a ‘salaam’, while Sumitra looks on, minutes before they go on stage for their performance.
Davy Sicard and his band soundcheck on a sweltering hot day
A Rajasthani folk artist is caught unaware putting the finishing touches to his moustache
Folk festivities in the day keep the museum-attending audience enthralled – here a young tourist joins in the umbrella-twirling, catchy dance.
The Band of Brothers (Slava Gregorin, Leonard Gregorin, Joseph Tawadros and James Tawadros) rehearse a collaboration in the period Smoking Room at the Umaid Bhawan Palace with Rajasthani musicians.
Joseph Tawadros tries to match the scale of his oud with the sarangi, a difficult task when both musicians cannot understand each others spoken language.
Yuri Honing and Joost Lijbart from the Netherlands show Daulat Ram a YouTube video of himself performing, trying to explain that he wants him to play what he played in that recorded concert. They rehearse at the Ali Akbar Khan auditorium at the Umaid Bhawan Palace.
Manu Chao gauges the audience and the mood from backstage minutes before his high-energy performance at Riff 2013
Rajasthani folk musicians share a quick joke mid-song during a final sound-check.
Polish polka dancers in the green room during a costume change.
A Rajasthani artist ties his turban before getting onto stage.
Jason Singh on Skype with his mother during the day.
All rights reserved. Images are copyrighted material. Reproduction in any form strictly prohibited.