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.)


BangaloreMag_Logo_For-Website_474x82pxBy Jazz Hack

Radha Thomas and Aman Mahajan will perform at the jazz festival in Bucharest, Romania

Famous vocalist Radha Thomas and—Berklee-educated pianist, composer and arranger—Aman Mahajan will fly the Bangalore flag at the EUROPA Fest in Bucharest, Romania. The prestigious 2-week festival (08 May through 24 May this year) comprises performances by over 300 artists from 45 different locations. Thomas and Mahajan are the only featured artists from India.

The duo first performed their act—titled “2 For The Road”—back in 2012 as part of the BIAF festival at Opus. Since then, the duo has gone to make a video directed by US-based filmmaker Indu Krishnan, featuring their version of the Herbie Hancock hit, “Watermelon Man”.

Their collaboration began almost three years ago began when Thomas invited Mahajan to join her as she formed her band, “UNK: The Radha Thomas Ensemble”, which also features famous musicians, saxophonist Matthew Littlewood and bassist Mishko M’Ba. While the band started by performing a wide variety of jazz standards, Thomas being an accomplished jazz singer in New York for many years and before that, “frontman” for the very famous Indian rock band, “Human Bondage”).

Mahajan has collaborated with Thomas in all her musical endeavours of the past few years and in the course of their work, quite naturally discovered their vibe and thus, the duo’s unique sound.

About two years into the band’s existence, Thomas released her album, “I Only Have Eyes For You” to considerable accolade in the press. The album continues to be played in hundreds of radio stations across the US and other locations.

In more recent times, UNK’s performances exclusively feature compositions by Thomas and some by Mahajan.

“I Only Have Eyes For You” can be heard here. Notable in the Bucharest set list will be the song that is quickly becoming known to Bangaloreans as UNK’s anthem, “Bangalore Blues”.

The duo will perform their set at Take 5, Indiranagar on May 25.

– See more at:

Bangalore Mirror
Bangalore Mirror

Excuse Bangalore artistes Radha Thomas and Aman Mahajan if they seem a little hurried while performing at Take 5 in Indiranagar on April 25. The duo that comprises musical outfit ‘2 For The Road’ will be rushing to The Piano Man on May 10, in Delhi next, and then boarding a flight to Romania. They will be representing India at EUROPAFest in Bucharest, a prestigious global music festival. They met when the former came across Mahajan’s video on the Internet. Much practice later, they formed UNK: The Radha Thomas Ensemble, a 6-piece band that has been performing regularly for the past year-and-a-half. Following this, they created the smaller, more intimate 2 For The Road, which lists several influences including jazz, Indian music, Latin music, African rhythms and the blues. Good luck, folks.