A blend of different styles

Jazz concert

The concert was part of a seven-city tour across the country, organised by a German jazz ensemble called BuJazzO in collaboration with the Goethe Institut, Deutscher Musikrat and Deutsche Welle.

It featured a collaboration between various German and Indian artistes, who worked to produce some distinct pieces that combined elements from both their musical traditions. The Indian musicians who were part of the collaboration included renowned vocalist R A Ramamani and talented percussionists like T A S Mani, Karthik Mani and Ramesh Shotham.

Christopher Bertrams, the director of Max Mueller Bhavan, explained that the concert featured the coming together of some very talented musicians. “These are the best jazz musicians of Germany, who have been rehearsing with Indian musicians for the last four days. The end result of this interaction between the two cultures turned out to be very interesting,” he said.

The line-up for the evening included some soothing, sensual compositions as well as others which were bursts of pure energy. The pieces were filled with young energy, which was a blend of maturity and traditional notes of Indian classical music.

The German elements in the performance brought a distinctly new style to the traditional strains of the Indian classical musicians. “We were not sure how we would sound trying to merge our music with the Indian style. We didn’t know if the audience would like it,” confessed Lukas Meile, a percussionist in the orchestra. “Either way, we learnt a lot rhythmically through Indian music while practicing,” he added.

The programme included compositions by Ramamani, Louiz Banks and the late Charlie Mariano from Bangalore. Despite the starkly differently styles of music being combined, the end product was different and refreshing. “Music lives through improvisation and both forms have that and that’s what allowed this entire thing to go ahead,” shared percussionist Ramesh Shotham, after the show.

Mike Herting, the conductor of the programme, also managed to leave each audience member wanting a little more of the intriguing combination of jazz and Indian classical music, which was evident from the prolonged standing ovation received by the performers.

Rangarajan, a disciple of T A S Mani, who was a part of the audience, confessed that he loved the entire performance. “The coordination between all the artistes throughout the performance was amazing,” he said. “It was very rhythmic, pleasant and melodious,” he added.

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