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One-man band to global act

Multi-instrumentalist Shri’s new ensemble OK World is a travelling band of sorts, their first stop being Mumbai.

music Updated: Apr 11, 2012 17:19 IST
Megha Mahindru

The last time UK-based bassist Shrikanth Sriram, better known as Shri, performed in the city, he took his audience by surprise — juggling instruments like the tabla, flute and electric bass, while spontaneously composing new pieces on stage. Today, the multi-instrumentalist has another surprise in store as the one-man-band takes to the stage with a varied group he’s just formed. Shri’s OK World features Norwegian jazz pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, Spanish flamenco player Josemi Carmona, Lebanese darboka-player Khaled Yassine, Mozambique-based drummer Amade Cossa and Mumbai percussionist Vivek Rajagopalan.

“I was keen to form a band of world-class musicians. I’ve worked with some of them, while the others have worked with one another,” says Shri, ahead of their first practice session, a day before the gig. Shri, who featured on the travelling-music show, The Dewarists, last year, with folk ensemble Rajasthan Roots, plans to take the same route to making music with his new band. OK World will travel to each musician’s native city to create new songs, with Mumbai being the first stop.

“The idea is to travel to various places, spend a week together and create music that is influenced by the vibe, sights and smells of the city we are in.” Ask him how much of Mumbai they’ve explored so far, and he says, “We’ve travelled from Byculla to Malad, so there’s been lots to absorb from the journey.”

About the gig tonight, Shri reveals he’ll be seen with his self-designed bass guitar. “Like Mumbai, our music will be high on energy,” promises Shri, who plans to go to Delhi next, before heading to Dhaka.

OK World will perform tonight at Blue Frog, Lower Parel. Entry Rs 300. ”