I prepared for my first gig in India. I went to rehearse with Aman, a wonderful pianist I had connected with through the Hyderabad Western Music who is sponsoring the events. We met at a “public” school. In India, public actually means private. The school was built in 1923 by the Nizam who then ruled India in loose partnership with the British.
After a very productive rehearsal, which included two students from the school (a tabla player and a drummer), we had lunch with the students in the cafeteria. There are 3800 students at the school and they eat in two groups. It was National Children’s Day which also coincides with the birthday of the first prime Minister, Nehru. Because of this, they were treated to a special meal which included chicken biryani and ice cream. Following lunch they went to a Sports Award Ceremony, only one of two times a year parents are allowed on the grounds. It looks like Nagarjuna got whomped by Nalanda! 🙂
After resting a bit I headed over to Lamakaan, the first concert venue. When I arrived they were setting up an outdoor stage. We had almost everything set up when there was a power outage. Power outages happen all the time in Hyderabad. After a while the power returned only to be followed by a smattering of rain. It was decided to bring the concert inside. After all was said and done it was a wonderful concert. Rahul said he counted 35 people and it was a wonderful listening audience. A French man was there with his daughter and I sang “Que Reste Til” and he said that if I hadn’t said I was American he would have thought I was French!!
After the show we went to a restaurant where a tribal Rajastani group was playing and dancing. I really loved what they were doing.