Thanks to Joe Koster at the Hyderabad Western Music Forum, I taught my first ever vocal workshop. I met Aman and Shakila at Alliance Francais and found the music room on the 4th floor. Aman is a very special person and musician and we have found that we have a lot in common. He is a vegan, left-handed and interested in Buddhism! So cool to connect with a kindred spirit. He helped me as I found my way in the teaching arena. First I gave my musical background and a little jazz history then I got to know the participants. It was quite an interesting bunch of people! I talked about the blues and it’s important role in jazz and even tried to find some parallels between the blues and indian scales. I sang a few songs, highlighting vocalese and improvisation. Then I handed it over to the group and had all ten or so of them improvise over Wayne Shorter’s Footprints. Everyone bravely came to the front and got silly with music. It was so great! Here I am with the group.
Rahul had been at a work party and he wisked me away so I could join the tail end of the it. It was at the roof of a building in a very nice part of town. We could see a near 360 view of the city. After we ate they played a game called Mafia but the highlight of the party was when one young man began singing Bollywood songs acapella. I was really impressed with his beautiful voice and sweetness.
From there we went to the Hyderabad Public School for my second concert in India. The setting was incredible, with lights, stage, banners, PA. It was a beautiful presentation. I began the concert with my mom’s song “O India,” followed by a long set of jazz standards. As was the reception of the last concert, many people came up afterwards and expressed appreciation and enthusiasm. So wonderful to make so many new friends!
After that we went to O Calcutta and ate Bengali food. Highlights were a deep fried eggplant dish and pan fried and steamed fish. The main thing that distinguishes Bengali food is their extensive use of mustards. Delicious!