Brown Indians at Koktebel Jazz Festival

The Koktebel International Jazz Festival held in Ukraine every year since 2003 has grown into a world renowned annual jazz event.

Some of the biggest names in jazz like Billy Cobham, Stanley Clarke, Courtney Pine and Deborah Brown to name a few, have been featured at this festival that draws jazz enthusiasts from all over the world to a picturesque venue along the Black Sea Coast. For the first time since its inception, an Indian band has been invited to perform at the 2014 edition from the 12th to the 15th of September.

Officials of he Embassy of the Russian Federation in India chanced upon the Brown Indian Band’s website on the internet and immediately decided this was the band most suited to represent India at their international jazz festival. They got in touch with Goa based Colin D’Cruz who had formed the band with floating personnel way back in 1994. Over the years the band featured some of the most accomplished Indian Classical musicians both Carnatic and Hindustani, along with local as well as international jazz virtuosos.

In fact, the band performed as a fourteen member ensemble at the first IFFI held in Goa in the year 2003 and that concert at the Kala Academy has remained etched in the memories of many who witnessed it.

The ensemble lined up for Russia includes Shubhangi Joshi on Hindustani classical vocals, Dhiraj Kapadia on Bansuri, Prashant Saxena on santoor and Jayesh Dhargalkar on tabla representing the Indian Classical department, with Benoy Rai on guitar, Joaquim Dias on keyboards, Karthik Subramanya on drums and Colin D’Cruz on bass taking care of the jazz department.

The band will perform only original indo-jazz fusion tracks composed by Colin with spontaneous on stage contributions from a line up of absolute virtuosos each one a master of his/her chosen instrument.


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