In­dian and jazz fu­sion con­cert

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - HUGH COLLINS

A group of Auck­land mu­si­cians are set to blend gen­res on stage with two il­lus­tri­ous In­dian artists.

Mum­bai Un­plugged will see ‘‘tra­di­tion meet in­no­va­tion’’ in a per­for­mance fea­tur­ing Mum­baibased mu­si­cians Tau­fiq Qureshi and Pur­bayan Chatterjee.

Auck­lan­ders Ben Fer­nan­dez, Jo Shum and Man­jit Singh are set to jam along­side the pair while play­ing a brand of ‘world mu­sic’. This will in­volve fus­ing a range of styles in­clud­ing jazz, blues and In­dian clas­si­cal mu­sic.

Fer­nan­dez, a pi­anist, has just fin­ished a masters in jazz with a fo­cus on In­dian tech­niques and meth­ods in jazz im­pro­vi­sa­tion.

‘‘It’s a kind of con­flu­ence of cul­tures and con­flu­ence of styles,’’ he says.

Jazz at roughly 100-years-old can learn a lot from In­dian mu­sic, a 2000 year tra­di­tion, Fer­nan­dez says.

‘‘In­dian mu­sic and jazz share a com­mon as­pect of im­pro­vi­sa­tion. And I try and use ideas based on th­ese scales, ra­gas and rhythms in my play­ing.’’

In­dian clas­si­cal artists look at melodies and rhythms in a dis­tinc­tive way that gives jazz mu­si­cians a new ‘‘di­men­sion’’ to work with, he says.

‘‘It’s some­thing that mu­si­cians now from the west are be­gin­ning to learn.’’

‘‘It’s won­der­ful to see stu­dents keen to learn the nu­ances of In­dian mu­sic be­cause this is some­thing we can learn in mu­sic...I be­lieve mu­sic is a uni­ver­sal lan­guage and that’s the way we com­mu­ni­cate.’’

Mum­bai Un­plugged is set to be a largely im­pro­vised per­for­mance with Fer­nan­dez say­ing the two guests are out­stand­ing at what they do.

Per­cus­sion­ist Qureshi plays a west­ern drum kit with the rhythms and feel of a tra­di­tional In­dian tabla drum, Fer­nan­dez says.

‘‘Tau­fiq is a mas­ter of us­ing the hu­man voice as a per­cus­sion in­stru­ment.’’

Sitar player Pur­bayan Chatterjee em­ploys a west­ern feel to make his sitar sound like a gui­tar, the Browns Bay res­i­dent says. Qureshi and Chatterjee have spent the last three weeks teach­ing their style and tech­niques to mu­si­cal stu­dents at the Univer­sity of Auck­land.

Mum­bai Un­plugged per­forms this Satur­day, Au­gust 20 in the Dorothy Win­stone Cen­tre in Free­mans Bay. Visit iticket.co.nz for more in­for­ma­tion.

Auck­land jazz mu­si­cian Ben Fer­nan­dez will ap­pear at Mum­bai Un­plugged.

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