Friday, May 24, 2019

Woodford 2018-19 and Sukhdev Mishra tour

Woodford 2018 was my busiest ever, with an extensive programme of Indian classical artists (with one tabla player), as well as Tibet2Timbuk2 launching our new EP, and an Indo-jazz fusion trio. I accompanied Soumya Chakraverty (sarod), Saikat Bhattacharya (sitar), Vinod Prasanna (bansuri), and Sukhdev Mishra (violin). Sukhdev Mishra is an amazing Hindustani classical violin player from Varanasi and happens to be the uncle of sarangi maestro Sangeet Mishra. Sukhdev was invited by jazz-flamenco guitarist Bart Stenhouse, and our Indo-jazz trio also performed at the festival. There were also a few jugalbandis between Sukhdev and Vinod, which were really very popular - in particular I heard lots of positive feedback on our first trio performance for weeks afterwards.

My partner Yuki Taniguchi also made her dance debut at the festival, with workshops and performances in both Chhau dance (a martial folk dance from Orissa), and Butoh dance (a Japanese modern dance-drama style). Yuki actually made her singing debut at Woodford back in 2016 when giving vocal support to Indian classical vocalist Supriyo Dutta. She really is a very talented woman.

In all I had 16 performances and supported Yuki in her 4 events. In the 25 hours around New Year's Eve I had 8 performances plus Yuki's Butoh performance. New Year's Eve 2018/19 will go down in my memory as "The Night of the Five Jhalas". Sukhdev performed on the hilltop for the last sunset of the year, immediately followed by Vinod's solo, and then a jugalbandi, with all three items concluding with jhala. After a more relaxing set with Tibet2Timbuk2 at Pineapple Lounge, I accompanied Saikat just before midnight, then again Sukhdev for the first raga of 2019. Fun times.

Following Woodford I had the chance to join Sukhdev Mishra and Bart Stenhouse again for 4 shows combining Indian classical violin with flamenco and jazz guitar. The bulk of each show was based around very nice compositions by Bart drawing inspiration from flamenco and Indian classical music. As always, the shows got better and better as we got settled in to Bart's compositions. I look forward to more chances in the future.

DAY 1 

Accompanying Soumya Chakraverty (sarod)

This piano also dispensed several flavours of kombucha.

Second performance with Soumya.

Yuki performing sword and shield steps of Chhau dance.

Yuki performing Shiva Tandava of Chhau dance.

Accompanying Sukhdev Mishra (violin) and Vinod Prasanna (bansuri) - top set of the festival judging by audience feedback over the next few weeks. 


Accompanying Sukhdev Mishra (violin) and Bart Stenhouse (flamenco guitar)

Tibet2Timbuk2 at Halcyon Stage

With Sukhdev Mishra at the Folklorica Outdoor stage (starting about 20 minutes after Tibet2Timbuk2 finished)


Another great jugalbandi


Final sunset of 2018 at Hilltop Stage - the first jhala of 5 that night.

With Vinod at Hilltop Stage

 Our final jugalbandi, with the sun fading away

Tibet2Timbuk2 with special guest Tenzin Nyidon at the Pineapple Lounge

First raga of 2019, from new year's midnight.


Yuki's Butoh dance performance brought people to tears and left many in earnest discussion afterwards. A certain ABC RN announcer was reduced to swearing in his initial reaction.

One last bit of fun with Sukhdev Mishra (which was followed by a spontaneous performance with Tenzin Choegyal).

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Bed Peace. We just had to.
Event flyer for "Flamenco Meets Ancient India" - great music with great musicians. 

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