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United sounds of Jazz

With musicians from New York, France, Africa and India, the Jazz aficionado is bound to experience a melting pot of cultures. “It is a combination of Jazz, Rock, African grooves and Indian rhythmic structure,” explains Indian Jazz musician Ranjit Barot, who got in touch with the three popular musicians — Bill Evans (Saxophone), Etienne Mbappe (Bass) and Marc Guillermont (Guitar) — to put together this concert titled Jazz@NCPA.


Indian Jazz musician Ranjit Barot, (below) American Jazz saxophonist Bill Evans

Jazz ‘em up
The four musicians had jammed for the first time as a unit, four days back, and they were happy with the end result. Talking to us post the rehearsal from New Delhi, Barot says, “When you meet and play together everything changes. Bill is from New York, Etienne, who is now in France, grew up in Cameroon, Marc hails from France and I am from India. We have brought our influences to the music and have been pleasantly surprised with the sounds that have emerged.”

Barot first met Bill Evans in Spain at the St Sebastian’s Jazz Festival, last year. “I loved Bill’s sound. I knew Etienne as we have performed together with John McLaughlin, and Marc is an old friend. When I was approached for this concert I decided to invite these musicians. When I mailed these guys, they jumped at it,” explains Barot.

According to Bill Evans, the only difficult part of this collaboration was to find the time where everyone was available. “But, the fact that we all come from different backgrounds gives the music a personal sound,” he shares. This is his first visit in India, and though he admits that he is not too aware of the Jazz scene in India, he feels the music of this collaboration will be well-appreciated. “From what I understand, there is a large audience who will appreciate what we do, musically. The group has a very high energy level. I can feel it, even though we haven’t played together before,” he adds. “The music that has emerged from this collaboration is what I expected. It’s a good band and I want to make sure we continue performing together even in the future,” Barot reiterates.

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