At close quartet: Madras Jazz Festival hosts Brian Molley and Radha Thomas
Groove to saxophones and drums at the Madras Jazz Festival
An amalgamation of two worlds, The Madras Jazz Festival hope to create a buzz for jazz in the city, by bringing in artistes from all over Europe and India. The fifth edition of the day-long festival, organised by Phoenix MarketCity in association with Exodus event management, includes international names such as Scotland-based Brian Molley and UK-based Matt Littlewood, among others. The evening will also feature two city-based bands — Sandra and Friends and Sangita Santosham Trio. However, the highlight of the evening will be the performance by Bengaluru-based UNK: The Radha Thomas Ensemble, who have managed to top the charts at Reverbnation since their debut in 2012.
Brian Molley Quartet
Scotland-based Brian Molley’s four-piece band is known for their lyrical and contemporary jazz music, and is a headliner at the festival. “Our music is influenced by various different musical cultures, including India, Brazil, American Jazz and ofcourse Scottish music too,” says the saxophonist and composer. Visiting Chennai for the first time, the quartet will have Tom Gibbs on piano, James Lindsay on bass guitar and Stuart Brown on drums. “We will be playing tracks from our latest album Colour and Movement,” says the frontman.
UNK: The Radha Thomas Ensemble
This Bengaluru-based six-piece band headed by vocalist Radha Thomas, is known for their original music and have been performing for seven years. “We will be performing songs that I have written in the past six years and also a few numbers from our latest album I Only Have Eyes For You,” says Thomas, who has also authored a few books, including The Cauliflower Diet.
Matt Littlewood Quartet
Originally from the UK, and now based in Auroville, pianist and saxophonist Matt Littlewood is among the top jazz musicians in the fraternity. This quartet is known for their reworked versions of popular standards as well as original compositions. Currently recording their untitled debut album, Matt promises to play classics from the band’s previous sets such as Giant Steps and Song for my Father.
Sandra and Friends
The newbies in the festival, Sandra and Friends describe their music as ‘soulful, relatable and fun’. “Our music ramges from jazz to contemporary and even pop, funk and rock ‘n’ roll sometimes,” says Sandra Keerthi Godwin, the lead vocalist. The teenagers will perform a few numbers by Ella Fitzgerald, George Bensen, Till Bronner and Gregory Potter.
Sangita Santosham Trio
Keeping up with her musical background, Sangita Santosham, granddaughter of late Dr Mathuram Santosham (former MP and musician), is the lead singer of Sangita Santosham Trio. The city-based quartet has Napier Naveen Kumar on bass guitar, Allwyn Paul on percussions and Shyam Benjamin on keyboard. “We will perform old pieces from the 1920s and ’40s along with some modern ones,” says Santosham.
At Phoenix MarketCity. June 3. 6 pm onwards. Details: 42121631