In a historic event that echoed the resilience and spirit of the Tamil nation, the 'Yaazh Gaanam' concert, headlined by the acclaimed Tamil music maestro Santhosh Narayanan, unfolded on the evening of October 21st at the Muttraveli ground in Jaffna. This gathering marked not only a celebration of music but also a poignant tribute to Tamil heritage, a moment of reflection on the liberation struggle, and a resounding call to action using the power of music.
The Muttraveli ground witnessed an overwhelming turnout, with tens of thousands filling the air with anticipation. What made this event truly special was its accessibility—Yaazh Gaanam was a gift to the people, as the concert was entirely free to attend, allowing individuals from all walks of life to partake in this cultural extravaganza.
The concert was the first large-scale event featuring high profile performers from both Tamil Nadu and the Eelam Tamil diaspora to take place in the region since the end of the war, signifying a reclaiming of cultural spaces for the Tamil people.
The concert opened with a moment of silence led by Santhosh Narayanan, paying tribute to the victims of the IPKF hospital massacre and remembering the countless Tamil lives lost throughout the decades. This powerful tribute set the tone for an evening that would weave together the threads of remembrance, celebration, and pride.
Joining Santhosh Narayanan on stage was Kollywood heartthrob Siddharth, known for his roles in 'Boys' and 'Jigarthanda.' Not only did Siddharth showcase his vocal prowess, he also delighted the audience and fellow performers with his backing drumming.
The lineup of performers was nothing short of extraordinary, featuring the young and dynamic Dhee, herself of Eelam Tamil roots, the soulful Haricharan, the versatile Ananthu, the energetic Anthony Dhaasan, and the lyrical prowess of rapper Asal Kolaar. Each artist brought a unique flavour to the stage, showcasing the richness and diversity of Tamil music.
Local Eelam artists taking to the stage included Poovan Matheesan, Vaheesan Rasiya and Thison. Representing the Eelam Tamil diaspora were a cadre of talented musicians including Navz 47, Ratty Adhiththan, Tha Mystro, Sahi Siva, and Shan Vincent de Paul. Ratty Adhiththan, in particular, delivered a powerful performance of his magnum opus track, 'Kanthar Koottam,' a lyrical homage to the ancient Tamil warrior tradition and a tribute to the heroes of the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle.
Further performances from Vijaynarain, Ofro, Kidakuzhi Mariyammal, Gaana Muthu, Meenakshi Elayaraja and Rohith Fernandes rounded off the repertoire.
Speaking to Tamil Guardian, French Tamil rapper and musician Tha Mystro expressed his overwhelming emotions about performing in his motherland. "It's a dream come true," he exclaimed, radiating pride. Tha Mystro also acknowledged Santhosh Narayanan's instrumental role in supporting Eelam Tamil artists, highlighting the collaborative and supportive spirit within the Tamil music community.