City-based Jazz ‘n’ Blues band The Vinay Kaushal Collective is set to offer a musical tribute to legendary guitarist Eric Clapton, this Thursday. The five-member collective comprises of city-based music professionals intent on exploring the sound of Blues and Jazz. It includes Gautam Kaushal (vocals), Among Jamir (bass guitar), Vinay Kaushal (guitar), Andrew Kanga (drums and percussion), Saurabh Bhalerao (keys) and Gowri Vijaykumar (backing vocals). Excerpts from an interview with lead guitarist of the band Vinay Kaushal:
The making of the band
Ours is a newly-formed band that entered the scene six months back in late 2012. Till then, I was studying abroad in the Musicians Institute (Los Angeles, USA). Among Jamir (of Agnee fame), Andrew Kanga and I came together to form this band along with Saurabh Bhalerao, my brother Gautam and some other musicians. I am the principal composer and songwriter for the band.
Tribute to the guitar king
We have been fans of Eric Clapton for several years now. Our band is heavily inspired by Blues and Eric Clapton is the most successful musician in this genre. Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival is just two months away and this gig is the perfect opportunity to pay a musical tribute to him. Since we have been inspired by him from the start of our career, it feels great to offer a tribute to him. Eric Clapton has been one of the most influential artistes of his time. The band will play all-time favourites as well as some of his underplayed greats like Bellbottom Blues, Running on Faith and Have You Ever Loved a Woman. We will add our own interpretation to each song and we will also perform some of our originals.
A performing artist’s haven
Pune is a city of youngsters. The student crowd inspires us to perform with additional zing everytime. People here are also interested to find out what goes on in the life of a live performer. It gives a homely feel to perform in front of such a crowd. Moreover, you have to be active as there is a bunch of aspiring artistes all around in the city.