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Enjoy jazz music? Attend this jazz event at a SoBo venue tomorrow

Updated on: 22 February,2024 07:15 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Devashish Kamble |

A seven-piece jazz band Derek & The Cats from Bengaluru will bring their improvisational compositions to a SoBo venue tomorrow

Enjoy jazz music? Attend this jazz event at a SoBo venue tomorrow

The seven-member band led by Derek Mathias (centre) at an earlier performance in Bengaluru

The essence of jazz, they say, is unfamiliarity. The possibility that dangles at the end of every measure as the song progresses, that a musician might introduce an improvised lick, riff or better yet, a solo, is what keeps the listener hooked. As Derek Mathias, leader of Derek & The Cats, a Bengaluru-based jazz band brings his cats to the city this weekend, expect the thrill to grow seven-fold. Accompanied by Anand Murali, Gautam David, Joel Rozario, Adesh Vinod, Vishal Varier and Jason Sharat, the seven-piece band will perform at the G5A warehouse as part of their That Friday Jazz concert series tomorrow.

Mathias’ journey began during the lockdown when grooving and jamming were strictly solitary indulgences. “I started composing instrumental tracks using my keyboard. I would play the basslines and other accompanying elements myself using digital synthesizers,” he shares, adding that the tracks were free-flowing and weren’t structured to fit a certain genre. “Next, I started following the musicians who are now my bandmates on Instagram. I sent them a few demos and as it turned out, they all agreed to come together and move on to something bigger,” the pianist shares.

Adesh Vinod plays the guitar. Pic Courtesy/Instagram
Adesh Vinod plays the guitar. Pic Courtesy/Instagram

While some might think too many musicians can possibly ruin the mix, the band’s eponymous debut album puts that doubt to rest. Throughout the 25-minute-long album, Vinod’s guitar solos, Sharat’s drums, and Murali’s keyboard, all shine through with ease without eating into the other’s space. “Collaboration is at the heart of our music,” Mathias shares, adding, “The songs are structured in such a way that by the end of the set, the spotlight will have panned to every single member, each injecting the performance with their own style and personality.”

You aren’t alone in wondering how a seven-piece band plans and manages their practice sessions and recordings. But Mathias has the answer ready, almost as if he’s been asked this more often than he’d like. “We have learnt to work around it,” he chuckles. The pianist shares how practice sessions often see a few vacant seats, “We practice with whatever combinations of members are available leading up to a show. It is only during the last two rehearsals before a show that we get to hear what we all would sound like while playing together,” he adds.

If the band’s name has somehow not given it away yet, the Cats aren’t your typical jazz purists. Mathias leaves us with an off-beat thought, “There is some stigma around the genre where people believe Jazz musicians are all haughty and serious. Jazz is all about moving around, grooving, forgetting your problems, and having fun. Even beyond music, we are a bunch of laidback guys just having fun. If you take yourself too seriously, when do you enjoy the moment?” The spotlight has panned to us.

On: Tomorrow; 7.30 pm
At: G5A Warehouse, Shakti Mills Lane, Mahalaxmi West.
Log on to:
Entry: Rs 499

Music on our mind

Pick your fave gig this weekend

>> Classical with a twist Witness Indian classical duo Ranjani-Gayatri present a thematic performance tracing the journey of Indian classical music across different genres.
ON February 24; 5 pm 
AT The Fine Arts Society, Postal Colony, Chembur.
COST Rs 350 onwards 

>> Heavy on the bass Join Illenium, the master of melodic bass music as he makes a pit-stop in the city with his vast repertoire of dubstep, drum and bass, and electronic rock music. 
ON February 23; 9.30 pm 
AT Bayview Lawns, Princess Dock Building, Mazgaon. 
COST Rs 1,000 onwards 

>> Pop the evening Step into an exclusive listening party experience inspired by the intimate gatherings of the West, led by playback singer Maanuni Desai 
ON February 25; 8 pm 
AT The Runaway Crew, Aram Nagar Part 1, Versova.
COST Rs 250 onwards

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