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Transcendence 2.0: Louiz Banks pays tribute to Jazz legend Oscar Peterson in Mumbai

Transcendence 2.0: Louiz Banks pays tribute to Jazz legend Oscar Peterson in Mumbai
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Oscar Peterson is unanimously acknowledged as one of the greatest exponents of jazz piano. My own switch to jazz piano took place when my father introduced me to Oscar Peterson... that was the turning point in my musical studies and pursuits. —Louiz Banks
Louiz Banks is India's pre-eminent jazz pianist, composer, film and record producer. He is also a Grammy nominee and fondly called the “Godfather of Indian Jazz." Transcendence is an annual event where performers pay tribute to legends of Indian & Western jazz music. This year’s Transcendence 2.0, which took place on June 8th in Mumbai, saw two modern day Indian legends, Grammy nominee Louiz Banks (piano) and Dr. Mysore Manjunath (violin) paying tribute to their respective idols, jazz legend Oscar Peterson and Carnatic legend T. Chowdiah. The concert featured the music of the “Vidwan of the Violin," fusing with the artistry of the “Maharaja of the Piano," and proved to be a stupendous success.

Louiz Banks and Dr. Mysore Manjunath were accompanied by Gianluca Liberatore (bass guitar), Vidwan Bangalore Amrit (khanjira), Gino Banks (drums) and Pt. Yogesh Samsi (tabla) and together they took the audience to a heightened level of consciousness with their music, culminating in a joyous transcendent state.

Louiz Banks on selecting Oscar Peterson: “The answer to that question will cover a few volumes... but in short... because Oscar Peterson is unanimously acknowledged as one of the greatest exponents of jazz iano..and he continues to inspire all students of jazz piano. My own switch to jazz took place when my father introduced me to Oscar Peterson... that was the turning point in my musical studies and pursuits. Hence, I pay homage to the greatness of Oscar Peterson."

The first set began with the lovely tribute by Louiz Banks to Oscar Peterson with some classic instrumental jazz popularized by Peterson. The second set began with a tribute by Vidwan Shri. Dr. Mysore Manjunathji to T.Chowdiah with the traditional Tyagaraja Kriti ‘Nyanamu Sakaratha’ in Purvikalyani. The finale was specially composed by Louiz Banks called “Reunion" loosely based on Raga Chandrakauns. The finale also had Gino Banks, Pt.Yogesh Samsi and Vidwan Bangalore Amrit, showcased their respective class and talent separately and then sparring amiably with each other on their instruments. Pradeep Joseph from Raga to Rock enthused, “the concert was like sitting at the crossroads, where the music of Chennai and New Orleans met."

The Performers

Louiz Banks. Concept, Composer, Keyboards. A Grammy nominee, who has spearheaded the jazz movement in India for the past three decades. He has been singularly instrumental in bringing a high standard of jazz performances to jazz devotees in India.

Gianluca Liberatore. Bass Guitar. A bassist born in Palermo, Italy. After Graduating at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, he moved to Mumbai in 2015, where he works as Dean of Academics at the True School of Music. Gianluca has performed alongside Ann Hampton Callaway, Ted Rosenthal, Loretta Holloway, Tulio Mourao, Ronal Douglas, SOI and many others.

Gino Banks. Drums. He is the son of Louiz Banks, India’s legendary jazz pianist and composer. Gino is a versatile musician, who has performed and recorded with artists and bands spanning genres.

Vidwan Dr. Mysore Manjunath. Western & Carnatic Violin, is a globally-renowned violinist. A child prodigy who matured quickly to emerge as one of the top violinists in India today. Acclaimed as a wunderkind with astonishing musicianship, Manjunath has established himself as one of the outstanding Carnatic Instrumentalists.

Tablaist Pt. Yogesh Samsi was born in the family of renowned vocalists Pandit Dinkar Kaikini and Shashikala Kaikini. From the age of ten he studied with the late Ustad Alla Rakha. An ‘A’ grade artist of All India Radio and Doordarshan, he has given numerous solo performances as well as accompanied many distinguished artists.

Vidwan Bangalore Amrit. Khanjira. He is a globally-renowned musician, performer, and frame-drummer. His power-packed performances filled with versatility, speed and intricate pattern presentation merged with aesthetics, grace and beauty have fascinated large audiences and received critical acclaim.

At last year's concert, Carnatic legend G. Harishankar (khanjira) was honored with a tribute by Vidwan Bangalore Amrit (khanjira) and jazz legend Buddy Rich was honored with a tribute by Ranjit Barot (drums).

The event was organized by Gigue Entertainment a division of SRH Consilium LLP lead by Rajashekhar Srinivasan. This initiative was made possible with the support of Aditya Birla Sunlife Capital Mutual Funds, Indian Oil Corporation, Life Insurance Corporation & Bombay Dyeing.

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