2ND INTERNATIONAL HYDERABAD JAZZ FESTIVAL 2017
By Pratap Antony /hydmusic.com / 7th December 2017
This year the Hyderabad Jazz Festival was on two days at two different venues.
Day one. 2nd of December 2017, it was on the lawns of the Secunderabad Club. And the second day, 3rd December, it was at the amphitheatre of Phoenix Arena.
The 3 bands that played at the Secunderabad Club on the 2nd, were a study in contrasts. They played music that was so different from each other that even the least knowledgeable about Jazz could hear the difference and know what dissimilar forms jazz could take. From a classical hued set by CRUISE CONTROL ON TRIO (CCO3), that amalgamated elements of jazz-like swinging rhythms and improvisation with classical guitar compositions to make music of an unusual, though transcendent, texture and tonality, to THE BEER PUPPETS, who twisted R&B and Neo soul – which itself is an interesting mix of contemporary soul music and Rhythm and blues – with interesting arrangements and improvisation to make it ‘Jazz’ that appealed to hard rock fans in the audience. And sandwiched in between these two contrasting bands was the MATTEO FRABONI “EUROPE MEETS INDIA” QUINTET whose contemporary compositions, arrangements and concept of an unusual quintet sound mixed well with mainstream jazz to create a unique set of driving Jazz that stimulated the mind, body and spirit.
CRUISE CONTROL ON TRIO (CCO3) – comprising Martin Van Hees – Classical Guitarist & Composer, played a classical acoustic-electric guitar for this performance. Aktas Erdogan – Classical/Jazz Guitarist, multi-instrumentalist & Composer, played a double neck electric guitar with one neck fretless; he also played Turkish flute and an Armenian Duduk. Nello Biasini – Percussion, played a regular drum set.
All three conservatory trained musicians played a set of not just their own compositions, but music from the classical world and from jazz and pop. It was wonderful to hear such quiet, aesthetic and thoughtful music that balanced confidently between classical music and Jazz. So the audience were charmed to hear besides the bands own compositions, ‘Fragile’ by Sting, ‘Someday My Prince Will Come’ from the Disney Movie ‘Sleeping Beauty’ that had been turned into a Jazz standard by Miles Davis and played as a solo in classical guitar style with a Jazz swing and improvisation by Martin van Hees. It was also so gratifying to hear a tango in a jazz concert, but that’s what we heard in the band’s ‘Tribute to Astor Piazzolla’ the Argentinian musician and composer, or to hear Cuban rhythms in a composition by Leo Brouwer of Cuba. To hear the surprisingly horn-like, plaintive sound from the tiny Duduk played by Aktas Erdogan in his own beautiful and sadness tinged composition and also in their composition called ‘Waltz for Duduk’, was an extraordinary experience. There were many pleasing moments while the trio played; and throughout, the drummer Nello Biasini was impeccable, everything he did was just right. So creative and such a perfect fit, it was delightful to hear a drummer who was so wholly coordinated and played so appropriately for this singular crossover between Jazz and Classical music, Cruise Control On Trio (Cco3).
MATTEO FRABONI “EUROPE MEETS INDIA” QUINTET, as described, is a coming together of the artistes from Europe & India. And the music they played was a “voyage” through jazz, classical, Latin and Indian influences, led by the Italian drummer and composer Matteo Fraboni. The rest of the quintet comprised Sharat Srivastava – Violin who has been performing Hindustani classical music for over 25 years and was in the Indian rock band, Parikrama. Rainer Pusch is internationally renowned saxophonist, arranger and composer. Aditya Jayakar on Piano is also a composer from Mumbai and performs with jazz musicians in Mumbai. Abhinav Khokhar is a one of the few upright bass players in India who has been collaborating and composing with many Indian and international musicians over the years.
The closest one comes to describing the music that this quintet played is to say that it was a startling revelation of Jazz as an intercultural collaboration that was open to all influences. Not just that, it was inventive, and it was swinging.
Most of the compositions were by Matteo Fraboni except two, and one of them, ‘Jai Ho’ was arranged so that it was transformed into an extraordinarily lovely work of art. Matteo Fraboni’s composing and arranging talent is brilliant. The compositions and arrangements were both emotional and intellectual in their appeal and incorporated all the Quintets instrumental diversities and yet was mindful of the player’s individual “sound”. The Quintet was professional to the highest degree, the quintet’s individual and collective improvisation was spot on. Sometimes the violin and saxophone blended so well that they sounded like the brass section of a jazz band. Violinist Sharat Srivastava’s solos were fresh, distinctive and very personal in tone and mood yet fitted the overall composition, and Aditya Jayakar on Piano was in tune with the feel of the band and took some good rapid fire solos. But it was Rainer Pusch who stood out as a colossal musician who bared his emotions through his alto saxophone, displaying exquisite technique, artistic expression and musicianship, playing energetic and expressive solos. It was soul satisfying to hear him. And Abhinav Khokhar on bass was an ideal jazz bassist who thinks on his feet and harmonises and lays a solid foundation for the band. Of course Matteo Fraboni is a versatile drummer who plays an array of inventive swinging, syncopated rhythmic patterns to support the band, and a point to note is, though he is the leader composer and arranger of the quintet, he is restrained and does not give himself too much prominence, but remains an unobtrusive accompanist. Both the bassist and the drummers’ solos were well conceived and constructed.
Amongst Matteo Fraboni’s compositions was one called ‘Varda’, named after the cyclone that hit Chennai in 2016. Another was ‘The Society of Liquid Law’, and another called ‘Unknown Knowledge’. To hear this engaging Quintet was indeed a pleasure and a privilege.
THE BEER PUPPETS set was full bodied, loud and appealed to the rock music lovers in the audience. Defining the music they performed at the Jazz festival is difficult. It could be called R & B, or it could be called Soul, or it could be called new form of rock, but it was performed with full-spirited energy and it could be called jazz too because there was a degree of improvisation. The guitar player Anthony Cammarota was versatile and surprisingly perceptive. Especially when he ‘comped’ behind the solos with interesting chords. But he played his solos sometimes like a shredding rock guitar player and sometimes as like a sensitive jazz guitarist. And of course there was Karim Ellaboudi on piano who is more a Jazz pianist than anything else, and it was his elegant, stylish and tasteful playing that made the music rise above itself. Shreya Bhattacharya’s is a gifted vocalist, her voice a powerful and supple instrument with which she belted out some fiery vocals. The bassist, Abhishek Dey, was the force to be reckoned with, it was he who was the drive behind the music, and his bass playing was outstanding as was his understanding of the music. And the drummer, Aron Nyiro’s musical intelligence was obvious, he has a wonderful sense of tune, tempo and dynamics and his technique and stick work and his ability to use every part of the drum set with telling effect was incredible. So while The Beer puppets music was hard to define as jazz, it was good music that could be only be played by Jazz influenced musicians.
It was an evening of fine music that was enjoyable, refreshing and artistic. And appealed to the senses and to the soul.
Day Two. 3rd of December 2017, Phoenix Arena, Hyderabad. This was the day of atmospheric, imaginative, experimental music in the amphitheatre that was suitably bathed in the luminous glow of a full moon.
UNDER THE SURFACE from Netherlands, comprised the leader, Joost Lijbaart, who played Drums & Percussion, Bram Stadhouders, Guitar & Electronics and Sanne Rambags, Vocals & Lyrics. The trio’s music seemed experimental, but was actually loosely structured to give each musician room to listen and respond. One could tell that Joost Lijbart was a skilled jazz drummer who kept control over the pieces that were played and kept the trio within the structure of the music, and Bram Stadhouders on acoustic-electric guitar provided the melodic hooks on which the remarkable young singer Sanne Rambags improvised using her voice as an instrument. Under The Surface played what sounded like open and experimental music, but was, in reality, precise, controlled and atmospheric, and the music gave the impression of it being balanced between magic and reality. The bands profile very aptly described their music as a “search for space through silence and improvisation”.
C.A.R. is four young musicians from Koln, Germany, Leonhard Huhn on alto saxophone, bass clarinet and effects, he pushes the boundaries of music by creating a delicate web of sound heavily altered by electronic effect devices. And Christian Lorenzen who plays Piano and Synthesizer is one of Germany´s flagship jazz musicians, Kenn Hartwig on acoustic-electric Bass is equally, or more at home with electronics and researching the world of sound. And Johannes Klingebiel on drums plays many genres of music but more of Techno and Deep House.
The four musicians of C.A.R. concocted a brew of musical sounds that incorporated jazz, experimental music and free improvisation that, as someone said, “carries you away like a cloud”.
ERIK TRUFFAZ & RIATSU, ANAND BHAGAT & NEIL GOMES
The Erik Truffaz headed outfit played their set of exotic music last. Erik Truffaz lyrical and melodious trumpet lines were played over looped repeating patterns of sounds from his own trumpet, similar to an elephant trumpeting, and these sounds were sometimes draped over a grating factory-floor like groove, or sometimes to more atmospheric dreamlike groove similar to Miles Davis experimented and was done with towards the end of his life. Comparing Erik Truffaz and Miles Davis is not far-fetched, because Erik Truffaz does play his trumpet with the same spare, thoughtful, melancholic feel as Miles Davis, but in this concert these are patched on to textures and atmospheres created by his band. Riatsu, who composes ambient techno to dark ambient electronic music. Anand Bhagat percussionist known for his skills with the West African Djembe and played the Didgeridoo too for some of the more exotic soundscapes, and multi Instrumentalist voice and guitar player Neil Gomes. However experimental the music may have sounded to an audience, Erik Truffaz music and the sound of his band, though out of the ordinary, it is engaging and interesting.
All in all, it was an extraordinary two days of music. The music was quite unusual, often on the thin edge of Jazz, but it was a wonderful experience to listen to such diverse sounds and such a diverse range of music from an array of great musicians, every one of whom believed in what they were doing and gave us in the audience everything they had with holding back.
The 2nd Hyderabad International Jazz Festival was conceived, coordinated, and made to happen through institutions as Hyderabad Western Music Foundation, Goethe-Zentrum Hyderabad, Alliance Française Hyderabad, US Consulate, Secunderabad Club, Phoenix-Arena and just a few sponsors and donors.
PROFILES OF BANDS AND MUSICIANS
SATURDAY, 2ND DECEMBER – 6.30pm onwards @ SECUNDERABAD CLUB
CRUISE CONTROL ON TRIO (CCO3)
Crossover project between Jazz and Classical music. Apart from jazz standards, the trio bring together sounds from the East, the West, and the Southern Cultures into their music and perform their own original compositions influenced by classical, jazz, world and pop music.
MARTIN VAN HEES – CLASSICAL GUITARIST & COMPOSER,
AKTAS ERDOGAN – CLASSICAL/JAZZ GUITARIST & COMPOSER
NELLO BIASINI – PERCUSSION.
Martin van Hees– Classical guitar – Parallel to his solo career, Martin is part of chamber ensembles, contemporary music ensembles and theatre/dance productions. He graduated from the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague with excellence & distinction for his contribution to contemporary music and has performed in India in 2014, Thailand, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Greece and the Netherlands in 2016.
Aktas Erdogan – Virtuoso guitarist with a background in both classical and jazz. He graduated from the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague. He also attended the jazz department for one year in Brussels Conservatoire. Parallel to his solo career as a classical guitarist, Aktas performs with various jazz formations, including his own quartet.
Nello Biasini (1991) – Drummer, educator and music producer. He holds two Bachelor’s Degrees with excellence – in Pop drums from Codarts University (The Netherlands) and Jazz drums from Conservatoire “A.Casella” (Italy). Nello performs with different line-ups and is being involved in different styles of music; jazz, jazz funk, hip hop, electro funk, rap, cumbia, soul pop, trip hop, and folk.
MATTEO FRABONI “EUROPE MEETS INDIA” QUINTET
MATTEO FRABONI – DRUMS,
SHARAT SRIVASTAVA – VIOLIN,
RAINER PUSCH – SAXOPHONIST, COMPOSER & ARRANGER
ANURAG NAIDU – PIANO
ABHINAV KHOKAR – DOUBLE BASS
“EUROPE MEETS INDIA” Led by the Italian drummer Matteo Fraboni, the Quintet is is a coming together of the artistes from Europe & India and a “voyage” through jazz, classical, Latin and other influences.
Matteo Fraboni – Drums, Composer
Italian drummer Matteo Fraboni is a jazz musician, drummer and composer, with sound sense of interplay in many genres of music. His 1st album distributed by EMI/Universal won the ‘Best International Album’ from a Tokyo paper in 2012, and Best Young Drummer from Drum Club 2015. He has composed for film and has collaborated with A. R. Rehman.
Sharat Chandra Srivastava – Violin
Sharat Srivastava learned violin from his grandfather, the renowned North Indian violinist Pt Joi Srivastava and has been performing Hindustani classical music for over 25 years. He was part rock band Parikrama for 12 years and was then a member of the world music quartet India Alba.
Rainer Pusch – Saxophonist, Composer & Arranger
Rainer Pusch is musician and teacher of saxophone and improvisation in India, Nepal & China. He has performed with many great jazz and Indian classical and fusion projects & holds a diploma in ‘Performance’ from Berklee College of Music, Boston and has studied Carnatic music at the Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts in Chennai (Tamil Nadu).
Anurag Naidu – Piano/Electrical Piano
Anurag Naidu is a Classical turned Jazz pianist. Having studied at The Bill Evans Piano Academy in Paris, he has gone on to play with legends like A Hariharan, Ustad Zakhir Hussain and AR Rahman to name a few. He has developed his own style of Jazz Piano Trios where he uses influences from Indian music, Funk and traditional jazz to create a unique sound.
Abhinav Khokhar – Bass
Abhinav Khokhar is a one of the few upright bass players in India. He has been collaborating and writing with many Indian and international musicians from various genres of music for years now, and is fluent with various forms of music from the swing era to contemporary pop music.
THE BEER PUPPETS
SHREYA BHATTACHARYA – VOCALS
ABHISHEK DEY – BASS
KARIM ELLABOUDI – KEYBOARD, PIANO
ARON NYIRO – DRUMS
The beer puppets play straight ahead Jazz as well as contemporary, R&B and Soul/Jazz-fusion
SHREYA BHATTACHARYA – VOCALS
Shreya Bhattacharya is a full time Jazz, R&B, Neosoul vocalist who likes experimenting with all genres of music which includes pop and classical western music too. Graduating from the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music. Shreya is dedicated to Beer Puppets but freelances with other musicians and has worked with several Indian and International ensembles.
ABHISHEK DEY – BASS
Abhishek Dey from Kolkata is known for his versatility and vocabulary on the instrument. A graduate from Swarnabhoomi Academy Of Music, Abhishek has played with lot of Indian fusion bands and collaborated with European musicians has played sessions musician for the Tamil & Telugu film industry
ANTHONY CAMMAROTA – MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST, COMPOSER
Anthony Cammarota is a Los Angeles born multi-instrumentalist, composer, and bandleader who has performed with an eclectic variety of performing artists in the jazz, rock, pop, funk, hip-hop and electronic worlds and has composed and recorded music across North America, Europe and Asia
KARIM ELLABOUDI – KEYBOARD, PIANO
Karim Ellaboudi of Sudanese origin and raised in London is known for his immense energy, his virtuosity and his very engaging rhythmic sensibilities. He is equally at ease with Classical Music, R&B, Soul and Jazz. Karim has played club shows, concerts and jazz festivals around the UK and Europe. Now settled in Bombay, Karim is one of the most in-demand sessions players in the Indian music circuit.
ARON NYIRO – DRUMS
Aron Nyiro from Hungary studied jazz drums at the Kodolány János University College and further at Conservatorium van Amsterdam after freelancing and playing and recordings with the very best of the Hungarian musicians. Aron is now the head of the drum department of the True School of Music in Mumbai and regularly plays with the finest in the Indian music scene.
SUNDAY, 3rd DECEMBER – 6.30pm onwards @ PHOENIX-ARENA 6.30pm onwards
UNDER THE SURFACE
Under the Surface is a unique trio with an open group sound who through their beautiful and precise playing search for space through silence and improvisation, balancing magic and reality.
BRAM STADHOUDERS – GUITAR & ELECTRONICS
SANNE RAMBAGS – VOCALS & – LYRICS
JOOST LIJBAART – DRUMS & PERCUSSION
Joost Lijbaart – Drums & Percussion
Under the surface is a project of drummer Joost Lijbaart from Amsterdam. He belongs to the top of the Dutch jazz scene
Bram Stadhouders – Guitar & Electronics
Bram Stadhouders is one of the most promising new young musicians in the European improvisation circuit and he has received many awards
Sanne Rambags – Vocals & – Lyrics
Sanne Rambags improvises in a very open way positioning herself completely between the musicians giving her voice the function of an Instrument
Four young musicians from Cologne Koln create a melange of sound. Jazz and Krautrock, electronics and cyberpunk, improvisation and experiment that carries you away like a cloud.
LEONHARD HUHN – SAXOPHONE
CHRISTIAN LORENZEN – PIANO, SYNTHESIZER
KENN HARTWIG – DOUBLE BASS, EFFECTS
JOHANNES KLINGEBIEL – DRUMS
Leonhard Huhn – Saxophone
Leonhard Huhn explores jazz, experimental music and free improvisation using overtone singing, analogue synthesizers and non commonplace electronic effects in a band context. He is a highly sought after player in different ensembles in these genres in Germany and Europe.
Christian Lorenzen – Piano, Synthesizer
Christian Lorenzen studied jazz piano in Cologne. He is considered as one of Germany´s flagship jazz musicians and has established a deep signature sound which makes him stand out from the generic jazz pianist.
Kenn Hartwig – Double Bass, Effects
Kenn Hartwig is in his own realm in the world of double bass which vastly shapes the sound of C.A.R. He was a member of the German national Youth Jazz Orchestra “Bujazzo”, that travelled the world. Guitar effect pedals of his own design, expand his music deep into experimental and electronic music.
Johannes Klingebiel – Drums
Johannes Klingebiel has played in all kinds of formations from classical orchestras to rock bands since childhood. Today his focus lies in his work with C.A.R. He regularly plays at festivals and club nights in cities like Berlin, Antwerp, Madrid or Prague
ERIK TRUFFAZ & RIATSU
Jazz electro music collages mixes textures and atmospheres in an experimental approach to jazz music that can be described as intimate, exotic and incendiary.
ERIK TRUFFAZ – TRUMPET
RIATSU – AMBIENT ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN
ANAND BHAGAT – PERCUSSION
NEIL GOMES – MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST
Erik Truffaz – Trumpet
Erik Truffaz is a veteran Swiss-French jazz trumpeter who infuses elements of hip hop, rock and roll. His breathy toned lyricism and the seductive aura of his solo’s and his experimental approach to jazz music is sometimes compared to Miles Davis. Truffaz’s compositions are sometimes described as “collages”. He is with the Blue Note Label since 1996.
Riatsu – Ambient Electronic Musician
Riatsu is the recording name of Shadaab Kadri from Mumbai and has been part of the Mumbai independent music circuit for over a decade. Shadaab has not only been composing electronic music that stretches from ambient techno to dark ambient, Shadaab has also created scores and jingles and soundtrack music for various visual features spread over a spectrum of genres
Anand Bhagat – Percussion
Anand Bhagat is the Mumbai-based guest percussionist known for his skills with the West African Djembe. His music is inspired by his travels around the world.
Neil Gomes – Multi-Instrumentalist
Goa born and Mumbai based, Jose Neil Gomes doesn’t believe in being proficient in one or two musical instruments. He can play nearly two dozen instruments and has released his debut EP, Systematic.
Twin-Cities Piano Festival 2017 –
The Jury in Concert (11th Nov.) – Grand Finale Concert (12th Nov.)
Hyderabad Western Music Foundation and Musee Musical are pleased to present two young Indian pianists – who also represent the jury of the Piano Festival 2017 – together live in concert!
When: Saturday, 11th November 2017 – 6pm
Where: Vidayaranya High School (opp. Secretariat; next to Hotel Anmol)
Shantanu finished his M.Mus. (Masters of Music) in advanced piano performance and conducting skills from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is currently performing across the country. He graduated with B.A. (Hons) in Music specialising in performance from Middlesex University, London and also holds a diploma in higher music education from KM College of Music and Technology.
His repertoire for the evening:
Mozart: 12 Variations in C Major ‘Ah vous dirai-je, Maman’ KV.265
Chopin: Scherzo in B flat minor Op.31 No.2
Rachmaninoff: Prelude in G minor Op.23 No.5
Debussy: Pour le piano
Cecil Vineet Abhishek
Cecil is a composer-orchestrator, engineer, and a singer-songwriter, with a Masters Degree in Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games from Berklee College of Music and a Licentiate Diploma in Piano Performance.
He will present an orchestrated version of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C# minor, op. 2 no. 3 – where he shall be playing the piano live, with his own orchestral arrangement produced on Digital Performer – a Digital Audio Workstation.
Entry for Saturday Concert: Rs 150 (HWMF-members: free)
Don’t miss the
Grand Finale Concert
with all the selected participants (pianists and other instruments).
Come and listen to some of the best musical talents in town!
Sunday, 12th November, 6pm
at Vidyaranya High School
The Sunday concert is free. All are welcome.
For more info:
firstname.lastname@example.org Ph 9912201659
Harmony – The Music School (Bangalore) and Hyderabad Western Music Foundation are pleased to present “Songs from La La Land and Beyond”
Sandra Oberoi & Harmony Children’s Chorus (Bangalore) & Accompanist/piano: Dr. Iryna Tsarenko plus
Deccan Voices (Hyderabad)
When: Sunday, 5th November, 6pm
Where: Vidyaranya High School (opp. Secretariat; next to Hotel Anmol)
Enjoy an evening of exquisite music that will strike a chord in your hearts, light a fire in your souls and set your feet tapping! From folk to classical, jazz to music theatre, there’s something for everyone at this musical extravaganza!
A few students of the Harmony Children’s Chorus have also won international awards in singing and have performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York. Some Hyderabadis might remember Sandra singing here in town, back in 2013 along with her two opera singer friends from the US!
The Deccan Voices is a twin cities based group of enthusiastic singers from a “medley” of backgrounds and cultures brought together by their shared passion for vocal music.
All are welcome. Entry: Rs 150 (children below 10years and HWMF-members free)