It was a musical night to remember, all thanks to Munich-based German collective JISR that cast a spell on music lovers in Dhaka on Tuesday with its performance of fusion melody -- from Arabic classical music to African Gnawa grooves and German Krautrock.

The concert was held at National Theatre Hall of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), celebrating the Mujib Borsho alongside 60 years of the Goethe-Institut in Bangladesh and 50 years of diplomatic ties between Bangladesh and Germany.

Organized by the German cultural organisation, the special concert -- "JISR // Brücke: From The Isar To The Ganges" -- was arranged in partnership with the German Embassy in Dhaka and BSA.

The concert was joined by Achim Tröster, Ambassador of Germany to Bangladesh, alongside Dr Kirsten Hackenbroch, director of Goethe-Institut Bangladesh, and BSA director general Liaquat Ali Lucky, as the special guests.

Lauding the special event, Ambassador Achim Tröster said, "This year marks 50 years of diplomatic relationship between Bangladesh and Germany. In 1972, Germany was one of the first countries in Europe to recognise the People's Republic of Bangladesh.

"A strong pillar of our bilateral relationship remains the development cooperation in the areas of climate change, good governance, renewable energy and recently also for the Rohingyas and host communities.

"However, the cultural and educational cooperation between Germany and Bangladesh dates back even before our diplomatic relationship. Today's concert is also a part of our cultural cooperation uniting musicians from the two countries."

Dr Hackenbroch, on his part, said, "I congratulate the people of Bangladesh on 50 years of being who you wanted to be: citizens of an independent country. Celebrating 50 years of German-Bangladeshi diplomatic relations, there is no one better on the stage than JISR - Arabic for 'bridge'.

"In the land of water, bridges are crucial as they connect and create spaces in many ways. They stand well for how the Goethe-Institut works with the cultural scene and the people of Bangladesh. We are co-producing cultural spaces that invite debate and make us listen to one another, and we enable mobility with a larger objective of global learning."

The first tour of a German music collective in Bangladesh since the Covid-19 pandemic began in the country, the concert, led by the charismatic linguist-singer-percussionist and Gembri player Dr Mohcine Ramdan, is described as a part of the project "The Sound of Faraway Lands'.

Throughout the concert, the JISR collective and its talented musicians -- Marja Burchard (Keys, Trombone), Roman Bunka (Oud, Guitar), Mohcine Ramdan (Percussion, Gembri, Vocals), Severin Rauch (Drums), Niko Schabel (Alto Sax, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet), Gergely Lukacs (Trumpet) and Marwan Fakir (Violin) -- mesmerised the audiences with their captivating performances.

From Arabic classical music and poetry to African Gnawa grooves and German Krautrock, Balkan, Jazz, Tango and Andalusian Flamenco -- everything was on the platter.

A group of Bangladeshi guest musicians also performed a number of songs together with JISR. The musicians are Labik Kamal Gaurob (Vocal, Dotara, Khomok), Nazrul Islam (Dhol), Jalal Ahmed (Flute) and Baby Dewan (Vocals, Mondira).

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