December 03, 2011

Music makes Madras

If jazz swings you, then you may want to listen to the music of a man who is said to be a big star in distant Norway.
Bassist Arild Andersen has played with many greats and made a name for himself around the world.
This past week, he and his band mates, saxophonist Tommy Smith and percussionist Paolo Vinaccia were here in the city to perform at a few campuses and at the Alliance Francaise before traveling to Auroville and thereafter to the JazzYatra in New Delhi.
Andersen, who is in his late 60s displayed his wizardry at the group's concert at the Alliance and for the audience of about less than a hundred it was an evening to remember.
Here was an opportunity to listen to world class musicians.
I had to skip a Carnatic music concert by the internationally-known violinist Dr. L. Subramaniam to be on time for Andersen's show on the other side of Mount Road. Having enjoyed the music of the violin maestro on many occasions, the choice to head for jazz was the right one.
There is a lot of music in this city of ours.
To be able to listen to a Carnatic music concert at 4 p.m. and then drive to another venue to enjoy a jazz concert at 7 p.m. is heaven's grace for anyone who soaks in the arts, for those who wish to explore music.
December is that time of the year when our city hosts what is perhaps the biggest music festival of its kind anywhere in the world. When dozens of organizations host Carnatic music concerts of the maestros, the stars and the bright talents.
The day starts as early as 7 a.m. with the academic sessions of lectures and demonstrations and progresses into concert after concert that end at 9.30 p.m.
For many connoisseurs, their lives in December are wrapped around this festival. Lots more tie in their holidays with the December season.
For the managers of the arts organizations, there is much at stake in hosting the fests and they go all out to seek sponsors in order to ensure the show goes on.
Very few look up to the state for help and monetary assistance.
This is a wonderful collaboration - of managers, artistes and rasikas - that this city can be proud of.

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