New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) New York based jazz-brass band Lucky Chops, who will be touring India for a three day concert in collaboration with Johnnie Walker The Journey, aims to use the universal language of music to bring people together. For them, India has a rich brass band culture with many wedding ‘baraat’ bands and they are hoping to meet some of the musicians to learn about their music and have a meaningful cultural exchange.
Johnnie Walker The Journey is an effort to bring to light various talents from across the world, who have been on a journey to achieve their dreams and as a part of the event, Lucky Chops will start their tour from Pune on Friday followed by Kolkata on Saturday and Hyderabad on coming Sunday.
Josh Holcomb, one of the band members, says that performing in India has always been a dream of the band and him.
“I grew up in an Indian neighbourhood of NYC (New York City) and I was raised on a diet of curry and hot peppers, Indian food is my favourite in the world! But most importantly we love to bring our music to new places, uniting cultures and people from all backgrounds with our instrumental and energetic sound.
“Everyone speaks the language of music and we aim to use this universal tongue to bring people together,” Holcomb told IANS in an email interview.
“India also has a rich brass band culture with the many wedding baraat bands in the country, we’re hoping to meet some of these musicians to learn about their music and have a meaningful cultural exchange. We actually used to play at Indian weddings in New York City years ago,” he added.
Talking about their performance in India, he says the performances will bring an intense amount of danceable energy to the crowd from the stage.
“We play with passion and we give 100 per cent of our energy to the show. Using often neglected instruments, we want to show the crowds the joy and excitement that can be found in these powerful horns. Our music combines the dance beat of an EDM DJ with the raw energy of a rock band and the catchy melodies of pop music. We’re very excited for these shows,” he said.
Lucky Chops has been unleashing high-energy brassy funk on the world since forming in NYC in 2006. The intensity of the band’s energy is fuelled by their desire to share the healing and inspirational power of music with others.
They maintain a busy schedule touring across several continents and are also committed to music education, regularly performing clinics and educational outreaches to help train and inspire the next generation of musicians.
Talking about their growth story in New York and why India is so important for them, Holcomb said: “We have worked hard to try and bring our joyful, healing brass music from the subways of NYC to the world and we couldn’t be happier to bring our show to India.
“In a way it feels like we’ve come full circle as we used to play in Indian weddings when we were first starting out, about 10 years ago. Our music combines lots of elements from different world musical traditions, including Indian music. We sometimes perform the song ‘Tumhi Dekho Na’ in one of our mashups with other songs, maybe we will play it in India.”
He also feels that with the Internet and platforms like YouTube making information and culture so easily accessible, there has been a rapid rise in global music/culture fusion in America.
“Hip-hop artists often use bhangra rhythms in their beats and obviously the 1960s saw a huge boom in Indian music and culture in the US. I think the future will bring a lot of very exciting cross cultural musical collaborations between Indian and non-Indian musicians. Hopefully we can start doing some of that while we’re in India,” he said.
So what do they like the most about Indian music?
“The grooves are very powerful and funky – that is the first thing that jumps out to most American listeners. After diving in a little bit more I’ve found that the melodies in Indian music are extremely beautiful. Oftentimes Indian melodies incorporate notes not often found in western music and the results are very powerful and unique,” he said.
(Nivedita can be contacted at [email protected])