It’s December and masters of jazz are at play

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Rudresh

A perfect blend of flurry guitar notes, intricate piano comping, tight drum ride patterns, deep walking bass lines and soul stirring saxophone inflections will fill the evening air at the Golden One Mile premise where the 31st edition of the Jazz Utsav 2015 will be held on 5th and 6th December. As always, this year’s line up brings to the fore a mix of Indian and global jazz artistes. Among them, the highlights of the show will be American alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, who is regarded as an influential voice in the American jazz scene today. Rudresh who hails from an Indian ancestry has been incorporating Carnatic influences in his playing, which has given sax playing a dimension hitherto unheard. It would not be wrong to presume that legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker would be proud of his innovative contribution to the instrument.

With his characteristic power and energy, which his fellow musicians can’t seem to get enough of, Rudresh is capable of producing unrealistic melodies by concocting brass and air.  Polish contemporary jazz pianist and composer Artur Dutkiewicz who is said to be in ‘great shape’ will be putting forth his musical creativity though the keys of the piano. Listen to his version of Hendrix’s Little Wing from his album Hendrix Piano to get an idea of his improvisational skills. He is also likely to play compositions from his album Prana—a rhythm and improvisational idiom of modern jazz. Join in to know why he is also referred to as the ambassador of Polish jazz.

Seventies’ guitar hero Derek Julien is back in Delhi to spin magic with his unique guitar tones. The guitarist for the band Waterfront from Pune, who were the first Indian bands to tour Europe during the 70s, is definitely a shinning gem in the treasure of Indian musicians. His music has only gotten enchanting over the years.

Another talented performer for the festival is young jazz pianist Joel Lyssarides from Sweden. Winner of the prestigious Jan Wallender prize 2014, Joel started playing the piano since the age of 4. Growing up listening to his mother’s collection of the likes of Keith Jarret, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans, Joel has been known for creating subtle harmonies and vivid phrasings through his playing. He is currently a final year student at the KMH Performance Bachelor Programme in Sweden, under the guidance of Ove Lundin.

A young breed of jazz music lovers comprises the Woodstock Jazz band. These students of the Woodstock School in Mussourie have enthralled audience at jazz festivals such as the Jazzmandu Festival in Kathmandu, Nepal and other venues. The students’ band defines musical ingenuity in more ways than one. Their performance is sure to inspire Delhi’s young jazz lovers.

The festival will also hear performance by jazz pianist Karim Ellaboudi and singer Vasundhara Vidalur. Karim has been charming the audience with his versatile and blithe piano playing in Europe and across India. He has collaborated with Indian Jazz musicians such as Joe Alvares, drummer Adrian D’Souza as well as world renowned percussionist Trilok Gurtu to name a few. This time, Karim will be performing with the very talented Indian female jazz singer Vasundhara Vidalur.

The two have also collaborated in recording their version of Nat King Cole’s The More I See You and gospel classic Silent Night. Vasundhara’s rich vocal abilities coupled with Karim’s rhythmic sensibilities hold promise of a true a class act.  Jazz Utsav is a 2-day festival organised by Capital Jazz in collaboration with TeamWorks. Tickets and contacts information can be found at jazzutsav.teamworkarts.com

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