There is nothing more soothing than listening to jazz in a cosy atmosphere enjoying some good food and drinks. Keeping that in mind, Shisha Cafe is back with their fourth edition of the annual International Jazz Fest with an interesting lineup of bands.
We caught up with jazz band Dach prior to their performance on Thursday, November 22.
Dach, which was formed in Berlin in 2012 and includes David Six on the piano, Andrej Prozorov on the saxophones, Mathias Ruppnig on the drums and Ilya Alabuzhev on the bass (however Alabuzhev cannot make it to the fest so Abhinav Khokhar will replace him), is half Austrian and half Ukrainian. Since the band is half and half in matters of origin, Six believes that it does in a way influence their music.
“Being culturally diverse puts us at an advantage because it gives us more access to a broadened background of musical tradition which is so important in today’s world to feel more connected,” says Six.
Talking about the significance of the band’s name, Six points out that the name Dach has two meanings. “First, it means cleverness and second, it means ‘roof’ in our local language. For us, the name symbolises open doors to our backgrounds and traditions and also the yet-unknown, and it all finds place under our roof,” he says.
Six further adds that the greatest strength of Dach is their open musical communication on stage, and their spontaneity and fun that they pass on to the audience. “So as a jazz band I believe we represent a collective which is capable of pulling on the same rope, sometimes even in different directions — but it still works,” Six adds.
Jazz, as a genre in India, has come a long way in the past few years. Six believes that the reason for the small yet constant popularity of jazz is the fact that it is constantly developing, adapting and inventing new genres, sub genres and styles of playing. “Now, this is mostly happening because of people from different backgrounds and ethnicities are coming together,” says Six adding that in India, the genre is very much alive.
“Indian audiences have taken a liking towards jazz because somewhere down the line the genre shares its roots and connections with Indian classical music when it comes to certain improvisations and it really clicks and stays with them,” explains Six.
Ask Six if playing for an Indian audience is any different from playing for their native audience and he says, “Playing in India is always a lot of fun and the audience here seems to appreciate our music and also the fact that everything we do in a way is organically handcrafted.” Their is nothing in their set that comes from a can, everything happens in the very moment.
When it comes to jazz, we often see male artists. Six agrees and says that unfortunately this is true. “I think the reasons are the usual ones like in all other jobs but luckily there are efforts to change the scenario, for example, our drummer Mathias is running a series with a focus on women players in Berlin,” he says adding that the change is happening but it is gradual and not sudden.
Talking about the set that they have prepared for the Jazz Fest in the city, Six mentions that they have a collection of new and old pieces that they will bring on stage. “But we also have the liberty of not touching any of them, maybe we’ll improvise the whole set for the audience, so it is a bit of a fun element and we cannot wait to groove along with the audience.”
Six also adds that he thinks festivals like the Jazz Fest is the only way to expose people to a new music genre by offering them a good and comfortable space where they can relax and be open to experience the genre.
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The International Jazz Fest is being held at Shisha Cafe, ABC Farms, Koregaon Park, from November 22 to 24. On Thursday, Dach will be performing at 7.15 pm and Supergombo at 8.45 pm.