Kolkata-based jazz band Bodhisattwa Trio sets sail for a 25-day Europe tour
Kolkata-based dark jazz band The Bodhisattwa Trio is set to take Europe by storm with a colossal 25-day tour, starting from June 14 to July 8, featuring 16 concerts in all. They’re set to play globally prestigious jazz venues with five concerts each in Poland and Croatia, four in Slovenia and two in Germany. Starring Bodhisattwa Ghosh on guitars, Premjit Dutta on drums and Arunava ‘Shonai’ Chatterjee on keyboards and synth bass, the instrumental music mavericks received widespread critical acclaim at the release of their third offering,
The Grey Album, earlier this year. With a distinctly dark approach to songwriting, their earlier works include the EP, Fuzzy Logic (2012) and two albums: Intersections (2013) and Heart of Darkness (2016). Shan Bhattacharya handles the visual aspects of things with his dystopian, apocalyptic-themed photography. With the inclusion of new member Shonai, a keyboardist who can cover the bass spectrum as well, the Trio have found a signature sound that they can claim as their own. The Grey Album, a concept-based two-part record, was produced under the Croatian label, Intek Music. “We are thankful to Intek Music for arranging some concerts and slots at festivals. People there are culturally quite advanced and appreciate our music,” offers Bodhisattwa, whose compositions are generally a reflection of the darker side of humanity, and the problems plaguing contemporary society.
Their relationship with Europe started in 2014, with a short five-gig tour followed by a seven-gig tour in 2017, where they played at the illustrious Vilnius Mama Jazz Festival in Vilnius, Lithuania — the first Indian band to do so. This time, they will be Indian debutants at the Festival Lent in Maribor, Slovenia and Fest Jazza in Koprivnica, Croatia. “This is a huge boost for us, and the music community! We have always created music to satisfy our artistic values. We were plagued with doubts as to who will listen to us? Now, being invited to play our original music at major international jazz festivals, which is financially viable for us, is an achievement! With all due respect, Indian bands generally cater to NRI audiences abroad, but we will be playing to music fraternities in ‘jazz land’.
Hopefully, this inspires other artistes too,” says an excited Premjit. Now, with the Kolkata band set to make history of sorts with its conquest of foreign shores, the fact that their genre-defying, avant-garde music has more takers in Europe than in their own country or city might be a tad worrisome to some music analysts. Will commercial film music always overshadow independent music? Are we not appreciative or aware of true art brewing here? These questions will require deep introspection.