Watch renowned Jazz guitarist Allan Holdsworth performing with Australian drummer Virgil Donati at a concert celebrating musical collaborations
Mumbai may have missed out on heavy metal band Metallica but there's hope for guitar enthusiasts in the city. After all, legendary Jazz fusion guitarist, Allan Holdsworth, is coming to India for the very first time.
(L to R) Anthony Crawford (Bass), Allan Holdsworth (Guitar), Virgil
Donati (Drums) and Austin Peralta (Piano/Keys)
Holdsworth boasts of an advanced knowledge of the instrument and a fluid legato style of playing which has influenced generations of guitarists. He will be performing with an eclectic ensemble that includes virtuoso Australian drummer Virgil Donati.
Holdsworth is best known for his work in Jazz-Fusion, but has experimented with other Rock-based genres as well. He is also renowned for his usage of complex guitar effects coupled with deft finger-picking, creating rich textures and well articulated melodious lines. He reveals that the guitar wasn't his first choice. "I started off by playing the clarinet as a child, and then wanted to move on to the saxophone. However, my father gifted me a guitar when I was 15 or 16, so I moved on to that by default," he said.
The musician may be associated with specific terms such as 'Progressive Rock' or 'Free Jazz' but Holdsworth doesn't see the point in labelling music anymore. "There are only two kinds of music --- good music and bad music. Everyone out there is just trying to do something. Sure, some of it isn't good, but at the same time there's tremendous talent out there as well," he insists.
Holdworth also makes a point about the universality of music. "Contemporary music is nothing but a combination of cultures. We live in a world where you can eat Chicken Tikka Masala in California, or enjoy a plate of fish and chips in Mumbai. These terms don't make sense anymore," he adds.
East meets west
Holdsworth is in the country at the behest of film composer and producer Sandeep Chowta. This performance is the first initiative from the Producer's Series, a project that attempts to create musical collaborations between talent from India and the rest of the world. Towards this end, they put together a band, commission a tour and put out a record at the end of it all.
"The aim of the Producer's Series is to show that the talent we have in India is on par with the best in the world," explains Chowta, who has been getting talented musicians from the West to visit India for the past six years now. "I keep getting calls to appear on reality shows, but the problem is these are more about TRPs than talent."
He cites the example of Deepak Pandit, a violinist who played regularly with the late Jagjit Singh and a mainstay of the Indian recording industry, who will be part of the Producer's Series. "There are renowned musicians in the West getting blown away by his work, but how many people have heard of him here? This is something that I hope to change," laments Chowta.
On: Today, 8 pm onwards
At: St Andrews Auditorium, off Hill Road, Bandra (W).
Tickets available at www.bookmyshow.com