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Mumbai music: The Jass B'stards reveal their little bag of tricks

New Delhi-based act The Jass B'stards reveal their theatrical ploys and devices to seek attention


From left: Stefan Kaye (organ/vocals), Nikhil Vasudevan (drums) and Tony Guinard (bass guitar)

If you thought Jazz was only about intricate chords and odd rhythms, meet The Jass B'stards. The New Delhi-based band blends the genre with Ska, Latin, Funk and Psychedelic sounds. The three-member outfit, with guest artistes, is also known for using props to create theatrics on stage. Vocalist and keyboardist Stefan Kaye sheds light on the group's eccentricities ahead of tomorrow's gig.

"Our drummer, Nikhil Vasudevan, has been dealing with a neurological disorder for many years. He has battled many doctors and needs to be under observation at times. We wanted his illness to be a part of our show, so we hired a nurse, who could double up as a singer when needed. Her name is Mel," says Kaye, who formed the band in 2010.


The band accompanied by nurse Mel

Vasudevan sometimes suffers seiz-ures on stage but it acts as a theatrical device. "A high-voltage performance can get stressful and his blood pressure needs to be checked. The audience is entertained when he is dragged off stage by a nurse," he adds.
The tendency to add drama to their musical set-up is only to draw the audience's attention. "It help us engage with our listeners better. For example, when we are playing at a pub and the lights are dim, people find it difficult to read the menu card. So, we call a guest on stage and ask him to read the menu out on mic while we offer background music."


One of Nikhil's ill moments on stage

At the gig, watch out for songs like The Toaster, Yellow Rose of Kentucky and impromptu instrumentals. The band also uses a transistor and theremin to create exclusive sounds. "Theremin is an electronic instrument controlled without any physical contact. The sound is produced by magnetic fields," he reveals.

The trio, who also play for the Reggae act The Ska Vengers, recently recorded seven tracks for the debut album of The Jass B'stards to be released later this year.

On June 14, 9 pm onwards
At Bonobo, off Linking Road, Bandra (W).
Call 26055050

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