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Bickram Ghosh on reconnecting with French band: Nothing is more powerful than music

Percussionist Bickram Ghosh has reunited with the French band, Mezcal Jazz Unit, for an album and a multi-city tour in India. The album has a special piece dedicated to the late sitar maestro, Pandit Ravi Shankar.

music Updated: Feb 09, 2018 18:10 IST
Shreya Mukherjee
Shreya Mukherjee
Hindustan Times
Bickram Ghosh,Mezcal Jazz Unit,Collaboration
Percussionist Bickram Ghosh and the French band Mezcal Jazz Unit have just done a multi-city tour in India.

Percussionist Bickram Ghosh’s collaboration with the French band, Mezcal Jazz Unit, was a success in 2006. Twelve years later, they’ve decided to jam together again, and this time, it’s a multi-city tour of India. Their performance in Mumbai on February 10 rounds off the tour. Earlier stops were at Kolkata, Lucknow, Chandigarh, and Pune. Bickram reveals that they are also working on an album, which is expected to release soon; a world tour is on the cards, too.

“We have been looking forward to jamming again after our first collaboration,” says Bickram. “All these years, we’ve been in touch, but things worked out only recently. And I must say, collaborating with Mezcal for the second time was a wonderful experience. We’ve already performed in a few cities in India and the response has been amazing, full houses everywhere.” In 2006 also, Bickram and the band performed together, to much acclaim.

“In fact, we’re also working on an album together. There will be eight tracks; the theme is Indian classical meeting jazz. Work on the video is on — it’s more like we’ve shot our practice sessions, performances in various cities etc. Sitarist Abhisek Mallick also features in the album,” says Bickram, who has composed the music for Little Zizou (2009), Jal (2014), and a number of Bengali films. Mezcal comprises Christophe Azema on saxophone, Emmanuel De Gouvello on electric bass, Jean Marie Frederic on guitar, and Daniel Solia on percussions.

Interestingly, there’s a special piece in the album dedicated to the world renowned sitar maestro, the late Ravi Shankar. “It’s our tribute to Ravi Shankarji. The piece is our version of the original composition that he along with George Harrison (lead guitarist of Beatles) performed in 1971 to raise funds for the Bangladesh [Liberation] War,” he adds.

Bickram Ghosh and the Mezcal Jazz Unit during their practice session in Kolkata.

Bickram feels that musical collaboration is essential and that, too, at a time when there is so much unrest around the world. “Collaborations between national and international artists, in a way, help strengthen friendship. I think nothing is more powerful than music; it can help create peace and harmony in the world,” he sums up.

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First Published: Feb 09, 2018 17:37 IST