Two gigs to attend this weekend in Mumbai

Updated: Apr 24, 2019, 07:47 IST | Karishma Kuenzang and Chetan Nayak | Mumbai

The SoBo resident had trained in western classical violin for a decade before picking up the guitar.

Nicholas Vaz
Nicholas Vaz

What's in a name?

A Mumbai-based band with the same initials as a political outfit attempt to bridge the gap between jazz, hip hop and western classical influences at a Lower Parel gig

When guitarist Nicholas Vaz wanted to start performing his own compositions, he decided to form a collaboration with like-minded musicians, who would add to the sound he was aiming for. The SoBo resident had trained in western classical violin for a decade before picking up the guitar.

So, in 2017, Vaz got musicians Jarryd Rodrigues (saxophone), Subid Khan (guitar), Azan Sherif (bass) and Nirvan Pareva (drums) to form Rashtriya Swing Sena. Ironically, the band doesn't play swing music nor does th­e­ir music showcase any political agenda. They compose tracks with jazz-oriented soundscapes and rh­ythms with infl­u­ences from fo­lk and Middle Eas­t­e­rn sounds as well as Afric­an beats. The melodic ideas are structured in western classical, thanks to Vaz.

Jarryd Rodrigues
Jarryd Rodrigues

Explaining the swing aspect in the name, Vaz, who has previously played in an acoustic gypsy jazz trio setting, shares, "I wanted to name the trio RSS, but it didn't go with its acoustic vibe, so I decided to name this collaboration RSS, and through it, we aim to bridge the gap between traditional western classical music from the US and Europe and Indian influences."

And what of the fact that their band's name is the same as a political party? "That was in jest. All of us are believers in being able to laugh at our predicaments," says Vaz. And though they haven't yet lost a gig or faced backlash due to the name, their Instagram pa­ge was blocked recently, due to which they had to make a new one. "One fine day, the page was blocked. It might be because an RSS page on Instagram belonging to the political party was created around the same time. People must have reported our page and to ensure there's no confusion, Instagram blocked our page. But we didn't get any notification, which happens when a page is blocked," Vaz explains, adding that they now have a new page with the same name. We're hoping it stays.

On April 25, 8.30 pm
At Levi's Lounge, Unit 2, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Lower Parel.
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They will rock you

This gig by Merlin and the All Stars is a tribute to Freddie Mercury and Queen

If you're the kind of Mumbaikar who'd pick a rewatch of Bohemian Rhapsody over the Avengers Endgame, head to this tribute to Freddie Mercury and the legendary English band Queen this weekend.

Merlin Dsouza
Merlin Dsouza

Rejoice with covers that will send you back to the musician and his band's glory years in the '70s and the '80s with a set list that includes We are The Champions, Don't Stop Me Now, Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You and Radio Gaga.

The gig by Merlin and the All Stars features pianist and composer Merlin Dsouza, guitarist Adil Manuel, Yohan and Bharat on bass and drums, and Shazneen Arethna, Yatharth Ratnum, Ronit Chaterji and Vivienne Pocha on vocals.

Dublin Square

"Queen, perhaps, has the most number of hits, and of course, there is the added emotional value," says Dsouza. "The production of these songs go from classical to pop to rock and a little bit of jazz, not to forget the harmonies," she adds.

On April 26, 7 pm to 10 pm
At Dublin Square, Phoenix Marketcity, LBS Marg, Kurla West.
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Cost Rs 499 onwards

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