A Tribute to the Legend: Ayub Bachchu

October 18th 2019 marks the one-year death-anniversary of one of the most influential musicians and guitarists of Bangladesh: Ayub Bachchu. On October 19th, a small group of us locals from Ottawa, Canada will be performing in, and executing a live event to celebrate the life and music of this great Bangladeshi music legend at the Kailash Mital Theatre at Carleton University in Ottawa. This will be an evening of live music and anecdotes; performing many popular and crowd-favourite songs by LRB/Bachchu, and sharing fond memories of musical influences and experiences.

This is also going to be a charity concert where all proceeds from ticket sales will be going to The Rudhro Prince Hope Foundation for the purpose of research and cure to Asthma.

The foundation was created by one of our dear community members/friend and his family who have lost their 8-year-old child to Asthma last year.

It is true that Ayub Bachchu and LRB’s music has one way or the other influenced many generations of Bangladeshis of all ages, and has touched us in different ways; whether you are rocking out to songs like Gotokaal Raate, or a broken heart finding comfort in listening to Ferari Mon, or a group friends singing aloud together Cholo Bodley Jai (Shei Tumi) by the campfire.

Our event – “A Tribute to the Legend: Ayub Bachchu” is about remembering these moments, and keeping his music alive, and having loads of fun doing so in the form of a rock show.

Even though cultural programs and musical shows are not uncommon, we are proud to say that this event is going to be the first of its kind in the Ottawa area; where a rock concert of this genre is being arranged and is set to be performed by local Bangladeshis in the Bengali community.  And we are all truly super excited about it. However, it is not without its challenges. Being the first show of its kind poses major challenges like creating exposure, inciting excitement and eagerness, and capturing a target audience.

As of now, the Ottawa Bangladeshi community has been more accustomed to mellow fusion cultural shows exhibiting softer folk music and plays; and we are aiming to bring to life – the side of people that want to let loose, cheer loud, get up and shake and dance, and rock out.

Our small team of organizers (who are also performers) are working tirelessly day and night for months juggling the music practice, marketing, media creation, and ticket sales. We have been working very hard in creating exposure by talking to people through countless phone calls, reaching out to community leaders, and also attending and speaking at the Carleton University Bangladeshi Students Association (CUBSA)’s get-together event in hopes of capturing the young music lovers. So far we have had great responses.

We have even received personalized video messages and well-wishes from a handful of Bangladeshi celebrities addressing our upcoming show. Celebrities who have shared a few words for us include: Fuad Muqtadir (artist of popular “Nitol Paaey”), Bangladeshi rock band Vikings, Rashed Uddin Ahmed Topu (musician, songwriter and composer of the popular band Yaatri), Sabila Nur (television actress and model), Ashfaqul Bari Rumon (Lead guitarist and vocalist of the band Parthibo), Chandan Zaman Ali (lead vocal and guitarist from the band Winning) – all of which videos have been posted and shared on our Facebook event page.

We are very blessed and thankful to have the kind of support we have receiving. And we are looking forward to a successful and more importantly, a very fun show.

About myself

I (Omar Sharif/Duke) will be playing lead guitar in our show. This imposes a lot of pressure on me. By that I mean, I must strive to stay as true as I can to Ayub Bachchu’s music and song compositions. Ayub Bachchu was widely known as a guitar maestro of Bangladesh; and LRB’s songs are composed of a variety of intricate, melodious, and screaming guitar solos. As you can imagine, fans listening to Ayub Bachchu’s songs and going to his shows look forward to his Guitar work and performance; and in some cases, these are the highlights of the songs.

Growing up in Bangladesh as an aspiring guitarist who mostly plays as a hobby, I have been influenced by Ayub Bachchu’s music and guitar playing at many levels; and as a musician, you get to learn a lot from playing and practising LRB songs in improving musical knowledge and guitar skills.

I remember back in Grade 6 when I was maybe 13 or 14 years old, our school (The Aga Khan School) arranged a rock concert to take place in which LRB/Ayub Bachchu was to be one of the headlining bands. And this was before I ever even started playing the guitar. After seeing that show, I immediately went and bought the LRB double album which came out at that time – Bishsho Amader. I used to listen to that album back-to-back so many times and imagine myself playing guitar solos like those. That show really did influence me into wanting to pick up a guitar.
Fast forward another 2 or 3 years, in grade 8, my mother found me a guitar teacher; and I became the “great-grand student” of Ayub Bachchu (my teacher’s teacher’s teacher I believe was the maestro himself). When I was learning to play the guitar, my curriculum even included a couple of LRB songs that were given to me to learn as part of an assignment. One of those songs became one of my all-time-favourite Ayub Bachchu songs; and at this show, I will be proudly performing Ghumonto Shohore.

Later in life priorities changed, I moved to Canada with my family and had to start a whole new life here; and in the midst of it all, Guitar and music became something left and forgotten like a relic. I lost years of practice and interest and my guitar was collecting dust.

I would rarely pick up the guitar and play it once in a while, but nothing that would keep me in practice and keep up my chops, and I hadn’t been on stage in over a decade. Till now, when talks of arranging an Ayub Bachchu tribute concert started, and by word of mouth, when my name came up as a potential performer, I was asked to join. This was a huge motivating factor for me to pick up my guitar again and practice hard to deliver the best performance this show and the musical legend deserves. I am very excited myself, and I am very much looking forward to delivering something even the audience will feel proud of being a part of. 

Our core performers/musicians and Organizers:

Similar reads

In conversation with EIDA

5 relatively underrated musicians you should try

Looking back at the pioneering bands of Bangladesh

Trainwreck: The Bangladeshi metal band that rocked Wacken

Things you certainly miss from the 2000s

Nemesis, the band announces an indefinite break