The Brahmaputra Raga Jazz is a unique initiative by Mumbai-based private limited company, Banyan Tree. With the support of the prestigious Tata Trusts, the initiative aims to promote bands and musicians from Northeast India in mainland India and even abroad. The first round of auditions was recently held in Shillong at Asom Kristi Kendra auditorium.
They received a total of 32 entries through online registration. Out of all the entries, twelve acts were shortlisted for the live auditions. The judges were guitar maestro Rudy Wallang and renowned slide guitarist, Debashish Bhattacharya. On the day of the live auditions, only seven bands made it to the venue while the other five backed out due to inexplicable reasons. The participating bands were The Pirates, Thunder’s Cave, Awakening, Blueprint Dives, Jambili, Empirical Tribe and Wine O’ Clock. Each band brought their A-game and some stellar sets were on display. The auditions had a unique twist as the bands had to fuse Indian ragas or traditional rhythms into their melodies, which they did very efficiently.
After the live challenge was over, the following bands made it to the top five – Empirical Tribe, Jambili, Blueprint Dives, Wine O’ Clock and The Pirates. The top three bands will perform in concerts at Delhi and other parts of India, with the possibility of performing at shows abroad. Prior to this, each band will undergo mentoring sessions curated by the Banyan Tree.
By Mrinal Paul