December 25, 2011

Showcase Chennai's art festival

When Prabhu Edouard was a teenager, the music bug bit him and he made his way to Calcutta to learn to play Hindustani music on the tabla. One big break in his career took him to France.

This past week, Prabhu had the final concert of the India tour of a jazz world music trio he is part of.

The Saiyuki Trio performed at the Alliance Francaise in the city and it was a very interesting concert. Alongside Prabhu was an internationally known guitarist, the French-Vietnamese maestro Ngyeun Le, and Japanese Koto virtuoso Meiko Miyazaki. who plays on the vintage music instrument that is closest to a chitra-vina.

The trio cut an album about three years ago and since then, have been on the road around the world.

After the city concert was over, it was time for Prabhu to catch up, first with his family from Pondicherry, and then with his friends from that town. And that is when I got introduced to this talented musician.

For the next two days, we were his guides to the famed December Season in the city. For, these Paris-based artistes wanted to be at as many Carnatic music concerts as they could.

So they hopped from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha in T. Nagar to Indian Fine Arts' show at the Bala Mandir hall, also in T. Nagar and then to The Music Academy and on the next evening, to Kalakshetra campus in Thiruvanmiyur.

Prabhu's day was made when he and his wife took a walk down Elliots Beach, had tiffin at Murugan Idli Shop and walked around the verdant Kalakshetra campus before checking out the concerts there.

Lots of musicians and arts-loving tourists pass through our city this time of the year.

They get a whiff, a sniff, a glimpse of the music and the dance that dominates this metro in December.

But there is hardly a place or a group to turn to for help, guidance and briefing. If there was, hundreds of people would come to enjoy what we have to offer.

It is time artistes, sabhas and the state made a serious effort to showcase this city's unique art festival.

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