Go with the flow

Updated: Dec 10, 2018, 11:03 IST | The Guide Team | Mumbai

On its maiden India tour, a New York-based jazz trio will introduce Mumbai audiences to the santoor's cousin

(From left) Rivas Bixio, Max ZT with the hammered dulcimer and Moto Fukushima
(From left) Rivas Bixio, Max ZT with the hammered dulcimer and Moto Fukushima

Smooth solo melodies with a distinctive India flair on a bed of compelling rhythmic beats get our head bobbing each time we listen to this New York-based trio. It's got a familiar ease, but we can't quite put our finger on what - sounds like jazz mixed with western classical harmony and rhythm from around the world.

And this Thursday, House of Waters, which boasts of its West African, Indian and western classical music, and American folk and Balkan influences, will be bringing their unique sound to the city.

It's only when we see the hammered dulcimer after a search online that we can place the familiar twinge. The instrument, built by Max ZT (vocals), is a cousin of the Indian santoor.

Max, who's been playing the instrument for 27 years, explains, "After studying for many years in Se­negal, I started approachi­ng the music with a more orchestral pe­­r­spective, like a [left-handed] pi­a­no. Each hand is almost a separate instrument - my right hand does bass lines and harmony, and my left, melody and improvisation. This allows for a fullness that is not generally associated with the dulcimer, or even the santoor. It's also clearly a percussion instrument!"

Similarly, their bassist, Moto, wields a hybrid instrument with which he can do bass lines, melody, and chords all at the same time - the six-string bass. After performing in Bengaluru, Goa, Hyderabad, Delhi and Pune, Max says, "It's been amazing and each show has been unique. Our Mumbai show will incorporate levels of virtuosity, but also a deep connection with the audience." They will be joined on stage by Mumbai-based singer Priya Darshini.

ON: December 13, 9 pm onwards
AT: The Quarter, Opera House, Girgaum.
LOG ON TO: insider.in
COST: Rs 499 onwards

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