Transcendence 2.0, the annual Music event held recently at St.Andrews Auditorium, this year paid tribute to Legends of Carnatic & Western Jazz, violin maestro T. Chowdiah and jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. The concert featuring the music of the 'Vidwan of the Violin', fusing with the artistry of the 'Maharaja of the Piano', was a stupendous success, as the music took the audience to a Transcendental state.
The tributes by modern day legends Dr. Mysore Manjunath-Violin and Grammy nominee Louiz Banks-Piano were for their respective idols Mysore T. Chowdiah (1894-1967) a violinist, innovator, teacher, an organizer, a composer and a thespian. He designed the seven-stringed violin and Oscar Peterson (Aug 15, 1925-Dec 23, 2007), winner of 8 Grammy Awards, who is considered one of the greatest jazz pianists ever. In a career lasting more than 60 years, he has played thousands of concerts all over the world and released over 200 recordings. They were accompanied by Vidwan Bangalore Amrit-Khanjira, Gino Banks-Drums, Gianluca Liberatore-Bass Guitar and Pt. Yogesh Samsi- Tabla,.
The first segment of the concert began with the lovely tribute by Louiz Banks to Oscar Peterson with some good old instrumental jazz popularised by the late legend. The second segment of the concert began with tribute by Vidwan Shri. Dr. Mysore Manjunathji to T.Chowdiah with the traditional Tyagaraja Kriti ‘Nyanamu Sakaratha’ in Purvikalyani. He then went on to play a RTM in the raga Kafi/Peelo. The improvisation of this RTM was in Natakurunji, Rasikapriya (72 melakartha raga).
The finale was specially composed by Louiz Banks called ‘Reunion’ loosely based on Raga Chandrakauns. The fiinale also had Gino Banks, Pt. Yogesh Samsi and Vidwan Bangalore Amrit, showing their respective class and talent separately and then creatively sparring with each other. The concert ended with a vote of thanks to all the sponsors without whose support this concert would not have been possible and to the living legends who performed spectacularly on stage.
The Ensemble took the audience through various levels of consciousness culminating into the transcendent state through their music. Pradeep Joseph from Raga to Rock said 'the concert was like sitting at the crossroads, where the Music of Chennai and New Orleans met'.
At last year's concert Carnatic legend G. Harishankar (Khanjira) was honored with a tribute by Vidwan Bangalore Amrit (Khanjira) and Jazz legend Buddy Rich was honored with a tribute, by Ranjit Barot (Drums).
The event was organized by Gigue Entertainment a division of SRH Consilium LLP lead by Rajashekhar Srinivasan and this initiative would not have been possible without the support of Aditya Birla Sunlife Capital Mutual Funds, Indian Oil Corporation & Bombay Dyeing.
Those of you who have been around from the 1960's through the 1990's will remember the vibrant live music scene in almost every starred hotel in India. Those were the days when you walked into a nightclub like 'Rendezvous' at The Taj Mahal hotel and 'Supper Club' at the Oberoi Sheraton in Mumbai to see curtains going up on a band that was the prime focus of these outlets. Every seat in these restaurants allowed an unobstructed view of the band that performed every night on resident contracts. Today all this has disappeared thanks to some ridiculously high entertainment taxes on live music. Today, non off these hotels have complete bands playing save for a few that feature small duos or solo singers. The Lodhi in New Delhi, recently listed among the world's best hotels, decided to step in and rewind to the good old days. They got Goa's premier jazz quartet 'Jazz Junction' to move to Delhi on a resident contract and the decision has paid off in terms of footfalls generated by the band. Jazz Junction featuring singer Daniella Rodrigues, pianist Tony Dias,
bassist Colin D'Cruz and drummer Angelo Colasco began playing at The Lodhi in June 2018. Four months into the contract the band generated a sizeable following, with quite a few high profile guests choosing to celebrate their special occasion at the Elan bar where the band performs. Against all odds the rewind option proved to be a huge success and hopefully other properties around the country takes the cue to trigger a whole new revival of live music.