Singapore-based jazz fusion band, RaghaJazz, performs live 

In conversation with the band 

RAGHAJAZZ is a unique combination of funky grooves, emotive stories, psychedelic bass lines and intricate tabla work. “We aim to take our audiences on a personal journey with us,” says Raghavendran Rajasekaran, the flautist and composer, adding, “We would like to think of our sound as energetic and emotive.” The five-member outfit has musicians from Malaysia and Singapore, and make their India debut this weekend. The band got together when they were studying music at LaSalle College of the Arts Singapore in 2009. It now comprises Raghavendran, along with pianist Joel Chua, drummer Jit Seng, bassist Xanthus Ching and tabla player Kumaran. It is not easy to categorise the sound of the band into one genre, as he says, “Most of us are trained very well in jazz, Indian classical music and Western music, so we like the idea of a collaborative innovation instead of chasing a particular sound or vibe popular in main or sub-stream music. Rather, we aim to be clear about presenting the best version of our personality through our music.”

The band believes that that bringing together jazz musicians alongside Indian Classical musicians always produces inspiring and challenging work, and is inspiring for musicians all over the world to study and grow with. They give the example of Remembering Shakti, the quintet comprising John McLaughlin, Zakir Hussain, U Srinivas, Shankar Mahadevan and V Selvaganesh. The band also cites their inspirations as artistes including Ravi Shankar , Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ronu Majumdar, John Coltrane, Karsh Kale, A R Rahman, Jojo Mayer and Janek Gwizdala. When it comes to themes, they draw upon elements of peace, freedom and love in their compositions. Their previous EPs include Chandrakauns-Green-Moon, Saraswathi and My Funny Old Flame. They are currently working on their upcoming album, Idioms of Freedom.

Discussing the resurgence of jazz in the band’s native country, Raghavendran says, “The jazz scene in Singapore has soared in the last few years with many internationally recognised jazz artistes performing alongside Singaporean artistes in reputed festivals. It’s beautiful to watch some Singaporean jazz artistes recently being discovered and gaining some regional recognition.”

Rs. 500. July 22, 8.30 pm. At Blue Frog, Church Street

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