City-based band to perform jazz




By Bhavna Ramballac / New Indian Express / Bangalore / Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Poster UNK

Bangalore-based band, UNK: The Radha Thomas Ensemble will take centerstage this Friday at Phoenix Marketcity, and give the audience, a taste of Jazz.

The band features Radha Thomas on vocals, Karan Joseph on piano, Mishko M’Ba on bass, Matt Littlewood on saxophone, Ramjee Chandran on guitar and Rahul Gopal on drums. UNK has performed all over the country for Jazz Yatra, ICCR Delhi International Festival, Indigo & Blues Festival, Bangalore International Arts Festival, Bengaluru Habba, iSai Festival and goMad Festival among others.

Radha Thomas recently performed at EuropaFest in Romania. She was trained in Dhrupad, an Indian classical vocal style, by Ustad Farid Ud Din Dagar. Thomas also lived in New York for 20 years, where she performed with musicians such as Ryo Kawasaki, Frank Tusa, John Scofield, Michael Brecker, Alex Blake, Badal Roy, Buddy Williams, Joe Farrell and others.

Asked about the aim of holding this show, Thomas replied, “We perform because that is our passion. For some of us it is the only thing we do and for others, it is a part of what they do”.

“Jazz is a feeling that starts in your soul and moves all across your body, on the back beat. It’s the kind of music that energises you and makes you feel good,” says Thomas. She further adds that as a performer, there is nothing she would rather do in the world than singing Jazz.

UNK: The Radha Thomas Ensemble was formed a few years ago and released their first album named I Only Have Eyes For You in 2012.

As the bandleader, Thomas says she is satisfied with the way the music has turned out and also the way they have been able to attract the finest talent to work with them. She feels it would be perfect to have the same members play in the band year after year, but its not possible because Jazz is not a popular form of music and does not attract large crowds or large performance fees.

According to Thomas, one of the main challenges of running a band is lack of finance. But money is not all it takes for the survival of the band, she says, adding that the love of music and cooperation of the members has helped them reached so far.

(The band will be performing live at Phoenix MarketCity on July 19 and at Take 5 in Indiranagar on July 20.)

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