All about swinging to Indian beats

Cultural exchange

Saxony Youth Jazz Orchestra, a group of 23 young jazz musicians, all drawn from different genres of music, across different colleges and music groups from Germany, were in the City for a performance last week. They are best known for offering a bit of everything from lively jazz, swing, modern, drive and groovy music. They think jazz, feel jazz and be jazz.

Their performance in the City was not only well received by jazz lovers but appreciated by general lovers of music. They came in with a specially designed package for the Indian audience.

Their conductor, Rolf von Nordenskjold, a trained flutist arranged a unique programme that combined traditional big band sounds with new contemporary ones.

The pieces had a mix of German folk songs and popular songs of the 1980s and early 90s.

As a special gesture of friendship to India, the orchestra surprised the audience with a rendition of a popular Hindi song. “We have rearranged music and tunes to suit modern times. Songs for children and popular fairy tales, tuned and composed especially for   children, is a special part of our India tour,” Rolf told Metrolife.

European and German folk songs were integral to the concert here in the City. “We try and plug in a lot of experimental music like adding on drums beats, flutes into the pieces,” says Rolf.

Among the groups’s favourite compositions are the Work Song which the farmers hummed and sang during their work on the fields. The Maids of Cadiz, a spanish song, is dedicated to the beautiful maids in the countryside. Hansel and Gretel a children’s fairy tale was composed into a lively tune to appeal to the kids.

The group toured South India, visited Mysore and stayed with Indian families to get a feel of the culture and tradition of the people here. “We ate masala dosa and some rice stuff. The people here are warm and nice,” says Rolf.

Rolf will be collaborating with a few music groups in the City to further ties and promote inter-cultural exchange between the two countries.

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