I am certain I lived in India in another life:John McLaughlin

By Soumya Vajpayee Tiwari

First Published in Hindustan Times on 31 October 2015.

John Mc Laughlin performs during the 29th edition of Sous les pommiers (under the apple trees) jazz festival in Coutances western France. (AFP)

Veteran British guitarist-composer John McLaughlin is, inarguably, one of the biggest names in the world of jazz. The 73-year-old is also known for popularising Indian classical music across the globe. In a recent interview with us, prominent sitar player Niladri Kumar attested to this fact, saying that McLaughlin is “one of the biggest ambassadors of Indian music in the world.” Ahead of his performance in Mumbai, we spoke to John over email about his love for India, its music, the changes jazz has undergone over the years, the bond he shares with tabla player Zakir Hussain, and more.

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Traveling Light: John McLaughlin

By Nirmika Singh

First Published in Rolling Stone India on 21 October 2015 .

When someone like John McLaughlin says that the music industry is going through a “disastrous” situation, it’s not a good sign. McLaughlin, the grand old man of fusion music and a relentlessly prolific guitarist, is probably the best judge of the global scene — he has released a ton of material [solo, collaborative, live as well as a guest artist] in his six-decade-long career, and formed bands and supergroups with some of the most prodigious names on the international circuit. But he is anything but hopeful today. He says, “There are young musicians coming up who are fabulous players, and they have absolutely no chance to get a record contract…Worse is to come in the music world.” No mincing words there.

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By Sumana Ramanan

First Published in Mumbai Mirror on 27 October 2015.

Sharmila Biswas

Three of India's best vocalists will sing this Sunday in a rare day-long festival.

We live in an age defined by the mantra "faster, shorter, snappier", whose baleful influence Indian classical music has not escaped. Rare is a performance in Mumbai these days that crosses two hours or a festival that runs for longer than four.

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The great improvisational guitarist, who has worked with a number of prominent Indian musicians, believes music is the sum of our life story.
By Shanta Gokhale

First Published in Mumbai Mirror on 5 November 2015.

John McLaughlin

Sunday offered us an extraordinary experience. We spent the entire day at Chavan Centre soaking up music. Yet, at the end, it was difficult not to want more.

This year's edition of the Diwali concert series organised by First Education Arts, took us on a journey through the morning ragas Bhairav and Gujri Todi (Pandit Uday Bhawalkar), the forenoon-early afternoon ragas, Yamani Bilawal and Samant Sarang (Vijaya Jadhav Gatlewar) and the late afternoon-early evening ragas Bhimpalasi, Dhanashree, Jaitashree and Bhairavi (Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar). The clever curation of the concert demonstrated, without statement, the progression of musical thought that has enriched our tradition over the centuries. The concert opened with dhrupad, the most ancient form in Hindustani classical music, moved to a khayal gayaki set within strict gharana principles but imprinted with an individual inscription, and finally on to a gayaki that drew on elements from three gharanas and gave free play to a stunning musical imagination.

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