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A slice of the world

Rohini Kejriwal, Dec 6, 2012
ENIGMATIC George Brooks performing at CounterCulture.

It isn’t uncommon to see a lot of Bangaloreans dancing to some African tribal beats or enjoying some traditional Irish music.

World music has broken barriers and found its place in the many music venues of the City.

Metrolife speaks to people behind the programming of some such venues to understand whether this is just a passing trend or one that is here to stay.


“Our constant intention is to see how this City can move over its karaoke and trance craze, which is why we attempt to bring in interesting progressive acts to the City from time to time,” shares Vishwaraj Mohan, owner of CounterCulture, Whitefield.

In fact, in the recent past, the place has seen performances by English rapper-poet, Akala, an electronic dance music project from Portugal called Buraka Som Sistema and American saxophonist and composer, George Brooks, among various others.

“We are constantly in touch with artiste-management companies and cultural institutions to know about musicians they’re bringing down. For instance, we were lucky enough to have the Oz Fest line-up for the Aussie BBQ because they were in India to headline NH7 Weekender,” he adds.

Another popular venue for world music is Opus, which sees a large variety of musical acts from around the world.

“Our programming is mixed and we can have fusion acts, authentic jazz or maybe even Arabic! It’s not a conscious decision to choose one genre over the other. We go with whatever works because there are takers for different kinds of music, depending on how popular and good the act is,” says Carlton Braganza, the owner.

When asked about the system in place to get these bands down, he informs, “It works both ways — sometimes we approach the band and at others, we get mails from them asking if there’s an open slot for them to perform.”

BFlat, located in Indiranagar, has always been known for its live world music acts. From Karuna Kshetra playing Indo-German jazz fusion to ‘Booka Shade’, the Berlin-based electronic duo; from Nepal to ‘Bangalore Express’s’ world fusion to contemporary jazz performance, ‘Gamma Rays Fer Bell’, the list is endless.

“We have a more mature audience profile here, which is why we can afford to programme events like this that are culturally richer. All our programming is planned in advance. We try to keep a balance of gigs because we also have regulars here and can’t have too much entertainment of the same genre,” explains Arati Rao, the owner.

Lastly, Hard Rock Café also plays host to a lot of international acts, who want to showcase their local flavour in this country.  The recent shows have seen Irish band ‘Hibernian Jungle’ and Portuguese/ Italian singer-songwriter Oliver Sean among
others. 

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