Mellifluous strains from Africa...

Striking Blend

Ashok Kumar, the brain child behind the band, said, “I always wanted to improvise and experiment my music with different genres. I found African music to be very interesting since we connect ourselves with the roots deeply to them and so I tried branching out the roots of music and take it to a different height.”

It also helps us to connect with the African community, who are living in the City, and provide them an opportunity to explore new horizons by blending African and Indian music, he added.

The programme began with an invocation to Lord Ganesha, with the famous number Vatapi Ganapathim in raga Hamsadhwani.

 The mellifluous strains of the saxophone, Djambe and the violin completely absorbed the audience.

Following this piece was a song Vega which reflected the pace of urban life and the swiftness associated with it.

 It was indeed a pulsating number which was well received by the audience.

 While blending different genres of music, Ashok also played a belly dance number with a special Turkish instrument called Darbuka which has its roots in the Middle-Eastern genre of music.

 Although this piece had no particular raga, it showcased the stillness coupled with the moving elements in nature which was quite striking.

The audience were seen nodding their heads as they listened to this wonderful number.
Following this piece was a song Hejje mathadu, gejje mathadu, which reflects how the harmony between man and nature has been disrupted by man’s selfish pursuits.

This was sung by Chitra and Will, an African singer who managed to sing in Kannada, which is worth a mention. A special instrument called Kora which resembles the Veena, was played by Armel, an African student. The instrument exuded a dulcet tone which mesmerised the audience completely. The following number was a song  Nisa sung by Chitra and Will again, which was an improvisation of Afro-Indian music, a dance recital was also a part of this song which enlivened the performance.

Landry, an African student, who played the Djembe and who has been living in the City for the last three years, was excited. “I’m very happy to be a part of this band and this is the third time I’m performing with them. It is a wonderful opportunity one could ever get away from home,” he said.

On the saxophone was Shridhar while Ashwin was on the percussions. The music left the audience spellbound. Anjali, who was present at the event, said “ I simply loved the improvisations and the combination of Indo-African music. It was brilliant and very soothing for the senses.”

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