Posts Tagged ‘music travel’

Musical Adventure In Assam And Rajasthan

Posted on May 15th, 2013 in Music Travel, Recent posts by .

Georgie Pope gives a taste of a new musical adventure in Assam

Photography by Georgie Pope

Hello, This is Georgie Pope who runs the Songlines trips to the Jodhpur RIFF festival each October. I’ve just returned from a test run of our new Musical Adventure in Assam, which will run next April. I was joined by nine other adventurers (aged from two to seventy-two) to explore this lusciously beautiful but remarkably lesser-trodden north-east Indian state – a region of Vaishnavite monastries, tea plantations and extraordinary hospitality. We met musicians in their homes, tried out their instruments, explored the fabulous natural landscapes and ate far too much local food. 

Half way through the trip, we hired a private ferry boat to cross the Brahmaputra and reach the magical island of Majuli. This vast and ever-morphing river island is a treasure-trove of art, music and wildlife. After checking in to our eco-huts-on-stilts – built in traditional Mishing tribe style from woven cane and bamboo – we set off across the island to meet my music-loving, dancing friend Govinda the monk.  

Govinda, like the other celibate monks of the Kamalbari Satra, is slim and muscular, with long hair and a beautiful face which exudes spiritual warmth and wisdom. He’s one of the many musical hosts who enrich our tours with true passion for their subject. Like his fellow ‘inmates’, he’s a vegetarian who eats only what is grown within the monastery, and spends his days worshipping lord Vishnu (whose avatar as the flute-playing Krishna you may be more familiar with) by singing borgeet and dancing the extraordinarily refined Satriya dance.

After affording us a rare glimpse into one of the monk’s rehearsals, Govinda took us to meet his brother – married and living in a conventional extended-family home on the island – who is the music master at a local school. The teachers and children presented us with the spring time dance of the Bihu – the festival this tour is timed to coincide with – as well as renditions of Borgeet, endless chai and biscuits. We returned to our eco-camp aglow with the extraordinary musical ebullience and hospitalitiy of the island, which I can’t wait to return to next year.

Experience the magic of Jodhpur RIFF with Songlines Music Travel

India – Rajasthan Musical Expedition                  

In association with 

15 days – Oct 8-22 2013
12 days – Oct 11-22 2013

I’m off to Rajasthan in October for another Musical Adventure, culminating in the Jodhpur RIFF – that sumptuous showcase of Rajasthani music and talent from around the world. To read more about my work on Indian music, visit

You can join Georgie on her trip to Jodhpur RIFF with Songlines Music Travel. With us you will get a chance to explore of a vibrant living culture featuring hand-picked musicians, whilst being guided by a artist or musicologist, so there’s time to absorb the atmosphere and get to know personalities as well as places. 

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Songlines Music Travel: Essaouira Gnawa Festival, Morocco

Posted on March 28th, 2013 in Music Travel, News by .

Morocco, Essaouira Gnawa Festival

With Britain seemingly turning into the Antarctic, we are beginning to question whether the sun still exists. Well, you can rest assured that there’ll be no shortage of sun at this June’s Gnawa & World Music Festival in the beautiful, whitewashed town of Eassaouira, Morocco. 

Built by the Portuguese, the port town of Essaouira is a delightfully picturesque tumble of narrow whitewashed alleyways opening onto beautiful squares. It is the centre of Gnawa music, the ancient, spiritual and joyously danceable African Islamic song tradition.For four days every June, Essaouira is taken over by the Gnawa & World Music Festival, which features masters of Gnawa music performing alongside some of the best musicians in world music.

Songlines Music Travel will guide you through this extraordinary festival, leading you to the very best musical offerings from local and international artists and to heady late-night sessions in atmospheric venues. There will also be plenty of opportunities to explore the delights of the bazaar, the fishing harbour, the medina and the glorious, endlessly long sandy beaches.

Sun, sea, sounds and the Songlines Music Travel team … what more could you want?

For further details of what promises to be an unforgettable trip, visit:

For information on other Songlines Music Travel trips, visit: 

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Explore the rhythms of the Caribbean with Songlines Music Travel

Posted on September 17th, 2012 in Music Travel, Recent posts by .

With summer on its last legs and autumn poking its head ‘round the door, wouldn’t it be great to get back to the sun?

Songlines Music Travel is once again leading trips to the Caribbean this winter – Cuba from December 29 and Jamaica from January 2. But these aren’t the usual beach bum trips. 

With each tour being lead by experts in the country’s music, both are brilliant opportunities to fully immerse yourself in the culture and music that defines the islands. The trips are based around two festivals – Jamaica’s Maroon festival and Cuba’s National Day.  The Maroon festival is held annually by the Maroons, decedents of runaway slaves who gained autonomy 223 years before the country as a whole gained independence. In Cuba, the trip revolves around New Year’s Day, when Havana turns into a have of party activity, with a brilliant mix of son, salsa, hip-hop and reggaeton everywhere.

To find more information about the trips and to book your place, see our travel pages here for Cuba (December 29-13) and here for Jamaica (January 2-13).

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Jamaica – Caribbean Vibrations

Posted on July 26th, 2012 in Music Travel, Recent posts by .

We are delighted to announce the latest addition to our Songlines Music Travel trips – Jamaica. The tour, Caribbean Vibrations, takes place between January 2-13 2013 and offers a chance to experience Jamaica’s extraordinary music on the ground, or on ‘the rock’ as many people refer to it.

Jamaica, like the neighbouring island of Cuba, is a musical powerhouse out of all proportion to its size and population of less than 3 million people. There’s more to Jamaica than just reggae, although there’s a visit to the Bob Marley museum and Tuff Gong studios, but also some of the lesser-known sides of the island’s music like the kumina drumming and the annual Maroon Festival in Accompong and the gorgeous sound of old-time mento in Port Antonio. All this, plus time to enjoy the extraordinary landscape, beautiful beaches and tasty food of this vibrant island.

To join us on this trip next January, please visit our Songlines Music Travel website.

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