Renaissance of Bengal
Bengali Cultural Uniqueness
The courage of the common man, the artists using their voices to reach out, is the Cultural Uniqueness of this group. They are aspiring to narrate the tale of devastation of the war, the world and history should not repeat. Distinguished artists from Bangladesh have been invited to perform in the North American Bengali Conference (NABC) 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. These talented artists will stage a musical dance drama, titled “Renaissance of Bengal.” It will paint how the authentic culture evolved through the struggles for independence of Bangladesh. The revolution and massacre of 1971 resulted in three million loss of lives and two hundred thousand of women whose dignity was compromised. In the present capital city of Dacca, inhuman atrocities were conducted by Pakistani mercenaries on March 25, 1971. While the indomitable freedom fighters fought with limited arms and ammunitions; on the other hand, courageous artists conveyed to the world and inspired ordinary citizens to stand together in solidarity. They inspired to end the reign of terror through their arts, music, and poetry. The cultural uniqueness of a country that is fighting a civil war unknown to the world and holding on to their roots is indeed a rarity in history. A story not to be forgotten, where a civil disconcertion wiped out thousands of civilian lives, while the rest of the world slumbered. Under the direction of the lead, Anima Roy, thirteen remarkably talented artists will enact these dark days of regression in the civilized culture of Bangladesh, through music, dance and poetic narration to show the incredible courage and hope that the nation held through it all. As a sister Bengal (in the Indian subcontinent) there could not be a more compassionate audience to witness this story telling, there is no better platform than NABC 2022.
This endeavor is led by Anima Roy. She is a renowned Tagore singer in Bangladesh. She is the Founder and the director of music and art named SURBIHAR from 2008 till present. She has performed Live on every TV channel in a year and is enlisted as a Vocal artist in a special category for Bangladesh Television. She released 7 CDs on Tagore songs with different label companies in Bangladesh, as well as 2 CDs on Tagore songs from India. Besides her performing career, Roy is an academician in music too, currently pursuing Ph. D on Patriotic sentimental songs of five poets from Dhaka University. Achieved M-Phil degree in music from Dhaka University in 2013. Roy also Achieved MA degree in music from Dhaka University in 2002 and BA with Honors in music, 2001. She is experienced and qualified to direct a production of this nature.
Sumya Tabassum is a TV narrator who will anchor the musical and be the key narrator for the NABC show “Renaissance of Bengal”. In her career she is a well-known anchor and presenter of the News and Administration Department of TBN24 from 2018 till present. Without the captivating narration that can bring the pathos of the atrocities that the women in Bangladesh went through, the silent scream of war victims will fall in deaf ears. Her narration will weave the threads of fear that the families coped with and hope they lived with. The younger generations of audience in NABC 2022 will be able to connect to the history.
Asif Ahmed Khan
Asif Ahmed Khan (aka professionally as “Asif Khan” or “Asif Ahsan Khan”) is a Bangladeshi Actor and Narrator. He is one of the most recognizable faces of the Bangladesh media industry. He has been the face of many popular brands of the nation including, Qazi group’s Eagle brand, Shah Cement, UCB Imperial, RAB, Diamond World, Meghna Aviation, Apex, Anjans, Infinity, Richman and many more. In 2021, he appeared in simultaneous TV and Web dramas, including “Meaow” opposite Rafiath Rashid Mithila, directed by National Award-winning Bangladeshi film director Taneem Rahman Angshu. Later that year, he made his film debut in “Talaash” directed by another National Award-winning director, Saikat Nasir, playing the lead opposite Shobnom Bubly. In 2022, he became the face of Ceylon Tea, an old traditional brand of AbuI Khayer group. And on this Eid he is set to star and lead in the much anticipated web series “Teerondaj”, season one which is set to release on the Grameenphone OTT platform, “BIOSCOPE”. He will be the main male narrator in this Bengali musical, in the Renaissance of Bengal he will knit together a critical time of history when the British left India dividing the two geographical extremities based on religion. The root of discord was the partition. His powerful talent in narration will bring this story of independence struggle alive in NABC 2022.
Sohana Sharmin Saba
A trained classical dancer from Bulbul Lalitokola Aademy and Chayanaut. Her career started as a dancer and eventually entered into TV commercials and drama. First debuted in the film “Ayna”, directed by Kabori Sarwar. Also acted in many notable movies which received positive responses namely:
Khelaghor’ Priyotomeshu’Brihonnala, Chandragrohon, etc. Recently acted in the web series “Boli’’. She launched her own production house, Khamarbari, and already produced very first production TwinReturns for Binge. With all these accomplishments under her belt, Sohana will perform as a dramatized expressive dancer in this musical.
Abdun Noor is a celebrated Bangladeshi actor and narrator who started his career at an early age. Emcee/Anchoring as well as acting is his specialty, among his notable works in the film are Jin, Haar Jeet, Run Out. In this Bengali musical in NABC 2022, he will be acting a key role to enact the darkness of a civil war.
Mehreen Bhuiyan Mahmud
Mehreen, is a renowned Bangladeshi singer, is a multi-genre artist, covering folk to classical music. She has received numerous awards, has seven albums in her career of 20 years, and still is a beloved voice to her many fans. She chairs as a Judge in Bangladeshi Idol. Mehreen has performed with internationally acclaimed composers including Pandit Tanmoy Bose, Bickrom Ghosh of Kolkata, Grammy winner ARR. Her first release Anari was a revival of Bangla modern music. In 2008 she was the judge from Bangladesh to the first ever band hunt reality show in Kolkata, the Band Wagon, highlighted by the presence of Grammy winner A.R. Rahman as master Judge. She has appeared on international TV channels such as ESPN, ETV Bangla, Zee Bangla, Tara Muzik, South Asian TV, Vh1 Mumbai, VOA Bangla, covered on print and radios in Mumbai, Kolkata and BBC UK and BBC Bangla and presented Bengali music.
She had been affiliated with WFP (World Food Program) as Goodwill Ambassador and with WFWP (Women Federation for World Peace) as Peace Ambassador and Vice President of Bangladesh chapter. She will be a significant performer in this Bengali musical in NABC 2022
Abanti Deb Sithi
A very unique and multi-talented artist, she is a Singer, Video content creator, Whistler and Percussive Vocalist. She is an enlisted Singer in Bangladesh Betar from 2019 till date. She created a few original Solo Tracks, like, “Tumi Brishti Bhalobaso”, “Ar Ektu Por”, “Sonabondhu”, “Moner Diary”, “Aloy Aloy” to name a few. She has attended International Cultural Programs in the US, Dubai, India, South Korea from the year 2013. She was in top 15 of Zee Bangla SAREGAMAPA (The biggest musical reality show in India) in the year 2018 and in top 10 of Close up One (The biggest musical reality show in Bangladesh) in the year 2012. She was Adjunct Faculty (Department of Textile) May 2016 – 2018 Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her wide experience and varied talent will be the strength of this Bengali musical in NABC 2022.
Sultana Yesmin Layla
Sultana Yesmin Layla also known as Sultana Eysmin Laila, is a well-known Bangladeshi folk singer who has already carved a strong space in the folk music arena. She won the champion crown of the fourth season of the popular television reality show of NTV, Close Up-1 “Tomakei Khujchhe Bangladesh ‘‘ in 2012. After winning the Champion crown of Close Up-1 competition, she has been singing many popular songs in the music industry. Adding this strong youthful voice is the equity and will balance the talent pool in this musical for NABC 2022.
Mahfuz Anam James
Faruq Mahfuz Anam, also known as, James or Guru James, is a Bangladeshi singer-songwriter, guitarist, and composer and a playback singer. He is the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist of the rock band “Nagar Baul” (previously Feelings), which he founded in 1977. James rose to mainstream fame in the 1990s as the frontman of Feelings, pioneering traditional Bengali folk to transform as a form of urban folk and presented to the international music fraternity. James has also led a successful solo career, with hit albums like Ananya (1989), Palabe Kothay (1995), Dukhini Dukkho Korona (1997), Thik Achhe Bondhu (1999). He sang in four Bollywood films, including Gangster (2006), Woh Lamhe (2006), Life in a Metro (2007), Warning (2013). James won Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer twice for his performance in the films of Desha: The Leader (2014) and Swatta (2017). This charismatic performer will be the highlight of the musical stage in NABC 2022.
Ahsan Elahi, (Fanty)
He creates the beat bringing lyrics to life that resonate with Bengali hearts across the globe.. A devoted drummer, he started playing in 1981 with James (Feelings, Nagarbaul). Through this lengthy journey, Fanty was one of the founding members of “FEELINGS” & “NAGARBAUL”. He has set a trend with his own style and his work has been part of many hit songs in the music arena. He has brought about a revolution in the art of drumming in Bangladesh. Ahsan Elahi
best known by his stage name Fanty, is one of the great milestones that has been created in the drummer world of Bangladesh. In each of his works, there is an impression of extraordinary skill. His marvelous rhythm with the melody echoes in the hearts of his audience. His contribution to the same magic of rhythm in this musical will touch NABC 2022 audience in Las Vegas.
He started playing the keyboard in 2011. He has accompanied James in the band Nagar Baul since 2021. Prior to that he has worked as a session player with various artists such as: S. I. Shumon Abanti Shthi, Ayesha Moushumi and A. I. RAZU. He has performed in live studio
recording and also played live in all major Channels like BTV, ATN, NTV, RTV, BANGLA VISION, CHANNEL I, CHANNEL 9, etc. with many popular artists. KAKON has performed with Nagarbaul James in Dubai Expo2020 in Dubai. He is an essential instrumentalist for the success of this musical in NABC 2022.
Shimul Azhar is a talented Bass Guitar player and has been performing since 1999. Shimul plays for the band NAGAR BAUL. Shimul also worked as a composer/arranger for a number of
other bands like “VIKING” “Tahsan and The Band”, “Metal Maze” Dharok”, “Re-Dhun” and working on a project Sylon Music Lounge and Garage 1.0. His Bass guitar weaves magic for the musical group and would be creating the same memories in NABC 2022 stage.
Sultan Raihan Khan
She is a passionate and professional musician with 22+ years of experience in the music industry. In addition, she is an accomplished guitarist and a music composer. She has done extensive work as a composer and session musician for the commercial album and background scores of dramas and films. She is an excellent addition to this Bengali musical team to perform in NABC 2022.
There is no doubt that this group consisting of:
- Anima Roy
- Sumya Tabassum
- Asif Ahmed Khan
- Sohana Sharmin Saba
- Abdun Noor
- Mehreen Bhuiyan Mahmud
- Abanti Deb Sithi
- Sultana Yesmin Layla
- Mahfuz Anam James
- Ahsan Elahi
- Kakon Chakrobarty
- Shimul Azhar
- Sultan Raihan Khan
this plethora of talent represents the heritage and tradition of Bengali/ Indian Music, Recitation, Enactment/Narration which is unique to the cultural tradition of Bangladesh’s history of freedom fight that has touched Indian sub-continent and connects with the global Bengali community of such struggles and survival.