Gino Banks drums it up
Self-confessed fusion baby Gino Banks is all set to perform at a fusion concert in aid of Marathwada drought relief, along with musicians like Niladri Kumar, Satyajeet Talwalkar, Sheldon D'Silva, Agnelo Fernandes and his father, jazz musician Louis Banks.
“The gig was put together by Pandit Shashi Vyas, who’s native place is Marathwada. We saw it as a great opportunity to perform live and also to create awareness about the drought situation in Maharashtra,” says Gino. In a chat with CS, he spoke about his love for fusion and his father’s influence on his music:
I was never forced to take up music or to pick up any particular musical instrument. There was a musical environment at home and there were many instruments at my place. I was allowed to try them out and I happened to gravitate towards drums as I found them easy to pick up. I liked the practice and hard work that went into learning it. It came to me fast and easily and it was fun.
I’m a fusion baby. I have grown up in that musical atmosphere and among those kind of musicians. My father’s from jazz background but I have been exposed to a lot of other genres too. My kind of music involves blurring the lines between Indian music and jazz and coming up with good music. A person performing fusion has to come from a strong musical background in a particular genre and has to have an open mind. Fusion music is full of challenges and I enjoy those challenges.
Dad has been an incredible influence on me. He’s at par with most international jazz musicians. To have somebody like that in the family means that my path is set for me and I just have to walk on it. I’ve been playing with him on stage for the past ten years and it’s been fantastic. He keeps writing new pieces and it’s a challenge to keep up with him. As youngsters, even we bring in our own influences and he’s very cool about incorporating them.
Apart from my dad, I look upto musicians like Ranjit Barot and Ustad Zakir Hussain, who is a huge influence on me. Also, all the guys I play with who’re my contemporaries, like Niladri Kumar, Dhruv Ghanekar and others. They are extremely talented and it’s fun to perform with them. Sheldon D’Silva and I grew up together and have been performing together since a long time. He’s my partner in crime (smiles).