Catch the Blues

Feb 05, 2012, 11:44 IST | Gretchen Ferrao

The Mahindra Blues Festival will enthral the city with another weekend of soul-stirring music. Take out your blue suede shoes

The Mahindra Blues Festival will enthral the city with another weekend of soul-stirring music. Take out your blue suede shoes

From the Caribbean and Hawaiin Islands to Latin America and West Africa, multi-instrumentalist Henry Saint Clair Fredericks' (alias Taj Mahal) curiosity over the cultural origins and evolution of music is what has led to his unique style.

Robert Randolph's performance with Buddy Guy will be one of the
highlights of the festival

One of the most influential figures in the genre, Frederick has been infusing Blues music with global elements for almost four decades now. His 1995 album, Mumtaz Mahal, saw collaborations with Indian slide guitarist VM Bhatt and Carnatic musician-composer N Ravikiran. This year will be the 69-year-old Grammy-award winner's first show in India.

The Taj Mahal Trio is just one among an exciting line-up of international Blues outfits scheduled to perform at this year's Mahindra Blues Festival. Other artists include the likes of John Lee Hooker Jr (son of legendary blues musician John Lee Hooker) and upcoming talent, Serbian blues guitarist-singer Ana Popovi.

A special treat to look forward to is Funk and Soul pedal-steel guitarist Robert Randolph's performance with everyone's favourite Blues legend Buddy Guy. This will be Guy's second show at the Mahindra Blues Festival (MBF) and his fourth in India -- obviously, the man ain't done yet!

MBF was launched last year. The tickets are steeply priced (in comparison with last year) -- Rs 2,500 (per day); Rs 4,000 (season ticket) and Rs 10,000 (Premium Lounge). But event organiser and partner at Orangjuice Entertainment, VG Jairam ensures that 2012's highlights are worth it. Bringing the cultural / musical experience full circle, MBF will include: a New Orleans Food Court; a Blues Lounge exhibiting rare Blues memorabilia; an after-party titled Blues on Vinyl; an interactive workshop by performing artists; and a Sunday brunch event.  
So, can we expect any sweet surprises like last year's extended jam? "With Buddy Guy you can never say... you can only pray that it happens again!" says Jairam.

Festival Highlights

New Orleans Food Court: A delectable menu inspired by New Orleans' Creole and Cajun cuisines.

Blues Lounge: A showcase of imported prints of legendary Blues artists by photographer Joe Rosen, exclusive memorabilia including BB King's guitar, impromptu performances.

Blues on Vinyl (February 11): A post-show party; free, limited entry

The MBF Breakfast Session (February 12; 10.30 am): An open house featuring MBF artists and hosted by Brian Tellis, Chairman, Fountainhead Promotions and Events. To register, email

The Sunday Blues Brunch (February 12; 12 to 3 pm): Enjoy an afternoon grooving to the eclectic tunes of Mumbai jam-band Something Relevant. The buffet is available at Rs 1,000 per head; registeer on

For further information, log on to
Ticket bookings:; 39895050

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