Igor Butman, once declared by former US president Bill Clinton as his “favourite living jazz saxophonist”, will be at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) on Wednesday.
This will be his first performance in India with the 15-member Igor Butman Big Band.
The band will render American jazz classics by artistes such as Duke Ellington, Basie and Benny Goodman, but that won’t be all, said Butman. “We will also be performing from our own repertoire. There are some jazz numbers we’ve been working on for the past few months that have a Russian flavour,” he said.
Butman, originally a tenor saxophonist, says he remembers making the transition from rock fan to jazz musician as a teenager growing up in Russia. “I loved classic rock, but after I heard jazz music, there was no going back,” he said.
Butman has previously toured India with other groups and says the relationship India has with Russia makes his performances very pleasant.
“I have in the past referred to jazz as a possible connection between the US and Russia, because that has been a tense relationship,” he said. “I hope that our music leaves our Indian audiences happier than they were when they came in.”