Carnatic music meets German Jazz

At the BuJazzo music concert, young Jazz musicians from Germany will share the stage with renowned Carnatic musicians to pay tribute to Indian culture

As the sounds of the Ghatam, Mridangam and Carnatic ragas sung by Indian musicians combined with the saxophones, pianos and violins of the National Jazz Orchestra of Germany, the audience rose to their feet to give the musicians a standing ovation.

The concert titled BuJazzo, which was held to celebrate six decades of Indo-German relations, enjoyed such a stupendous response not just in Delhi, but in Chennai and Bangalore as well. The concert has now travelled to Mumbai and will be hosted by the Max Mueller Bhavan today at the St Andrew's Auditorium.
The Federal Youth Jazz Orchestra of Germany, BuJazzo has collaborated with South Indian percussion giants such as TAS Mani, Ramesh Shotham, Karthik Subramaniam and singer RA Ramamani to present this concert, which marks a cultural and musical exchange between both the countries.

Melting pot of sounds
"We have collaborated with Jazz musicians over several years. Music can blend if musicians from both the sides understand and respect each other's music. This concert is a meeting of different cultures," explains Shotham.
Band leader Mike Herting will be directing the concert and compositions by Ramamani, Louis Banks, Charlie Mariano and Mike Herting will be part of the concert.

"The compositions are in different ragas and talas and they have been written down by Herting for their band. We are also performing a tune by Louis Banks called City Life which was composed in 1980," adds Shotham.

Talking about the collaboration between Jazz and Carnatic music, Ramamani says it dates back to nearly three decades. "I collaborated with Loius Banks in the 1980s and we did the Bombay Jazz Yatra. We even performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra last year. The response has always been great," says Ramamani, adding that they received a standing ovation in all three cities.

The BuJazzo concert will be held in eight cities across the country. "It has been a great experience for the German musicians as well," says Rosemarie Moizisch, an officer at the German Music Council, who has been travelling with BuJazzo. "It is very interesting to see Jazz being combined with Indian music. The musicians learn the different grooves and rhythms from each other and the German musicians are having a really great time," she adds.

The BuJazzo concert is part of a 15-month collaborative celebration titled 'Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities', which will be held in India till November 2012. 

On: Today, 7 pm
At: St Andrew's Auditorium, off Dominic Road, Bandra (W). Free passes will be available at Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai and St Andrew's Auditorium box office.

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