We went to see an “Indo-folk fusion” band called Indian Ocean (www.indianoceanmusic.com). A 5-piece band, it was bassist Rahul Ram and drummer Amit Kilam who really stole the show for me. Rahul has a serious presence while he plays bass and Amit, who played drums as well as voice, flute and an interesting traditional Indian yukelele type thing, is absolutely adorable. They’re the kind of band who would do very well on the American summer festival circuit and I would be surprised if they are not (take note Deadhead friends). The opening number was so powerful it nearly had Rahul and I in tears. That is what I love most about great music, it’s ability to move you and make you feel something. Much of the rest of the set was a mix of highly orquestrated rock (think Yes or Jethro Tull) and ethereally layered beauties. Five part harmonies permeated every song. The most popular song was a super pop number with a very intense light show. Indians seem to really like light shows. Catch them if you can!
Below are pictures of a Hindustani and Karnatic singing concert we went to at Saptaparni. Rahul says that singers who train in these vocal traditions train even more rigourously than opera singers. I’m not quite convinced of that but it was very impressive.
My friend, Dennis Powell, plays piano is the lounge at the 5 star hotel, Taj Krishna. I stopped by to say hi and heard many of my favorite jazz standards!