5 Phenomenal and Soul-Stirring Musical Performances

From rock, jazz, Indian classical music to opera, here are some mind-blowing live performances!

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Few things in this world have touched me and moved me as deeply as music.


Music is a drug that can put us in an intoxicated state without any unpleasant side effects, and thank god it exists because life would be much poorer without it.


At its best, I believe music is a spiritual experience — with its capacity to simultaneously penetrate our mind, body and soul and make all our worries non-nonexistent when we are under its spell.


In this post, I’d like to share with you a few performances that have this kind of effect on me. Now I know musical preferences are subjective, but I believe no matter what your tastes are like, you will find at least a couple of these performances truly special.



The Prayer by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli



Genre: Classical crossover

@ Central Park, New York (2011)

(the song starts at 1.36)


Singing sensation Celine Dion and opera singer Andrea Bocelli combine here to deliver an exquisite rendition of this song that may just melt your heart.


Celine Dion once famously remarked that if "if God would have a singing voice, he must sound a lot like Andrea Bocelli".



My Favorite Things by Sachal Jazz and Wynton Marsalis



Genre: Eastern Classical and Jazz fusion

@ The Marciac jazz festival (2013)


Jazz and classical Indian music may sound completely different. But in this mesmerising performance, jazz and classical Indian music seamlessly blend as if they were always meant to complement each other.


The Pakistani band Sachal Jazz Ensemble combines here with Wynton Marsalis to give an enchanting performance of jazz legend John Coltrane’s version of My Favorite things.

The sound of the bansuri (a Flue-like instrument) played by Baqir Abbas is divine.


Even if you are not a fan of jazz or classical eastern/Indian music this is definitely worth a listen and will be time well spent.


Nessun Dorma by Luciano Pavarotti



Genre: Opera

@Los Angeles (1994)


I remember listening to parts of this song when I was a kid, but I never thought much of it at the time. It was only decades later when I listened to the song completely for the first time that I was captured by the beauty of this song and the brilliance of renowned opera singer Luciano Pavarotti.


While singing this song, Pavarotti seems possessed by some divine power, especially as he delivers the last few lines of this masterpiece.


The song is in Italian and though I can’t understand a word of it, listening to it moves me to tears and puts me into a euphoric state.


Karuna by Remember Shakti



Genre: Classical Indian fusion

@Austria, Vienna

(Karuna: 0.31 seconds – 15.48 second)


Shankar Mahadevan’s spell-binding vocals and some fantastic musicianship by the rest of the band members (which includes virtuoso musicians like tabalist Zakir Hussain and British guitarist John Mclaughlin) makes this absolutely delightful.



Soul Sacrifice by Santana



Genre: Latin-African-Rock

@ Woodstock, 1969


Woodstock was a music festival held in New York in 1969, that drew in close to half a million people over three days.


Santana was a relatively unknown band when they took to the stage to perform their set in Woodstock, and they had yet to release an album.


The electrifying and jaw-dropping performance of the last song from their gig, “Soul Sacrifice”, would change everything and soon make them one of the most sought after bands in the U.S.


The band’s up line in Woodstock consisted of a 22-year-old Carlos Santana, (who would since go on to sell millions of records) and a 20-year old-drummer Michael Shriver who delivers a mind-blowing drum solo in this performance.


(The video quality is a little poor on this one, the quality of this link is better but it's a shorter version and much of the drum solo is cut out)



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