Kotak Mahindra Bank has been long associated with exemplary musical tastes since long. This association goes back to the year 2008 when it first collaborated on ‘Dakshinayan’, a 1 day music festival featuring stalwarts from the Carnatic Music Fraternity. In 2009 they worked to create ‘Rhythm & Dance’, an event which was held during the Infinite India conference for all RE & PE investors at the Taj Lands End.
In 2011, they came up with the Splendor of Masters for the first time. This featured Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, ace Harpist Gwyneth Wentink from Netherlands and accomplished Saxophonist George Brooks from USA. This was held in Mumbai (Nehru Centre) and New Delhi (India Habitat Centre). In 2012, they featured Ustad Shujaat Khan (Sitar- Hindustani) with Vidwan Vikku Vinayakram (Ghatam – Carnatic) Ganesh-Kumaresh (Violin – Carnatic) and George Brooks (Saxophone -Jazz & Newage). This was held in Mumbai (Nehru Centre) and Bangalore (Chowdiah Memorial).
In 2013 they created a unique combination of artists, a unique dance presentation by – Madhavi Mudgal (Odissi) & Alarmel Valli (Bharatnatyam) followed by Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Mohan Veena), Mohamad Farghaly (Oud), Hamada Farghaly (Qanoon) and Rakesh Chaurasia (Flute) with interesting percussions.
This year keeping with the tradition of featuring the best, they created an ensemble that was brilliant in content and unparalleled in artistic synergy featuring Ustad Shujaat Khan (Sitar & Vocals – Hindustani) with Prasanna (Guitar- Carnatic & Western), Phil Mathurano from New York (Drums), Selvaganesh (Kanjira), and Abhishek Raghuram (Carnatic Vocals) and other percussionists.
Each artist was a master of his true worth. Every moment, every minute was not only scintillating but electrifying. So much so that, the crowd continued to cheer and egg on the artists to continue without a break. The peak of the event happened to be when Selvaganesh decided to put his skills to display. He not only recreated a rustic musical and magical world, he also imitated almost every musical instrument that plays with a high bass. Not a single instrument was spared. Amazing experience I must say.
The jugalbandi between Abhishek and Prasanna was another thing to look out for. Truly, both are prodigies in their own self! Mesmerized, the crowd went begging for more. So much so that, during the break, most of them were still glued to their seats!
Although the event was kicked off with Ustad Shujaat Khan playing the sitar, it was not until after the break when all artists donned the stage together that his true worth was brought forth! Truly, this was the closest I could get to Indian music. I now realize why our elders keep telling us that the music in movies is not really worth and up to the mark. It is because they have heard the real music all their lives!
I surely wish Kotak Mahindra Bank comes up with such an event soon so that I can relive the magic. BTW, I am going to be the first in queue when the music CD for this event is brought out! For nuts, I would not want to let go of such a marvelous gem!