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Home / Brunch / “Jazz defines freedom,” says Louiz Banks

“Jazz defines freedom,” says Louiz Banks

The legendary composer and instrumentalist, known as the Godfather of Indian Jazz, talks about music, love, spirituality, and picks Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata as his favourite romantic number

brunch Updated: May 04, 2019, 22:47 IST
Veenu Singh
Veenu Singh
Hindustan Times
Louiz Banks advises young, aspiring musicians to practise endlessly
Louiz Banks advises young, aspiring musicians to practise endlessly(Neil Banks)
All about Louiz Banks
  • Date of birth: February 11
  • Sun Sign: Aquarius
  • Place of birth: Kolkata
  • Home town: Darjeeling
  • School/college: St. Robert’s High School/ St. Joseph’s College, Darjeeling
  • First break Forming my own band, The Louis Banks Brotherhood, in Kolkata (1971)
  • High point of your life: Meeting jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie and touring with him as his pianist. That’s when I met my wife Lorraine and fell in love with her too!
  • Low point of your life: When my mum and dad passed away

If not a musician, what would you have been?
I’d have been a painter.

What, would you say, is the best thing about being a musician?
Being in the presence of divinity.

Tell us which is your most lovedromantic number?
Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven.

And a Bollywood song that’s your absolute favourite...?
Yeh Vaada Raha by RD Burman from the film of the same name.

What’s the best thing about jazz?
Jazz defines freedom and it is challenging, highly stimulating and spiritual at the same time. That’s what our celebration of the International Jazz Day at the NCPA showcased.

A piece of advice you would want to give to young, aspiring musicians...?
Practise, practise and practise!

The best way to connect with your fans is...?
By giving your best performance.

How active are you on social media?
I’m a regular WhatsApp guy and I occasionally visit Facebook for a good laugh. I’m not very active on Instagram and Twitter though.

When you are not creating music, you are…?
Watching movies as well as engrossing serials.

What’s your favourite travel destination?
New York.

The best thing about marriage is...?
Being forever in love.

Name a musician you would love to perform with.
Yo-Yo-Ma. He’s an amazing cello player.

One achievement you are really proud of...?
That I was able to convert my passion for music into a successful career.

What is your strategy in a crisis?
Stay calm and look for the nearest fire exit.

The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning...?
Do a couple of stretches and then go and sit on the throne.

And, the last thing before you fall sleep...?
Browse on my iPad till I start to doze off.

Finally, how do you de-stress?
By playing the piano.

Much loved by the musician...
  • Indulgence: Belgian chocolates (that I’m not allowed to eat!)
  • City: Mumbai
  • Food: Chinese
  • Movie: Song Without End (1960) and West Side Story (1961) .
  • Music apps: Sibelius, Finale and Logic Pro

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From HT Brunch, May 5, 2019

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