City-based drummer Gino Banks is curating an evening of rhythm, where percussionists of national.
In a world where drumming festivals have become a part of the cultural fabric in many a country, India had no platform solely for drummers till 2016, rues drummer extraordinaire, Gino Banks. Keeping this in mind and taking inspiration from the Modern Drummer Festival in the US, the city-based musician is curating Mumbai Drum Day for the second time in two years. The festival will consist seven listed artistes including Gino, as well as a surprise performer, all of whom thrive on rhythm.
“I have been following Modern Drummer Festival for a while, and I soon realised that, even though similar festivals are present all over the world, there is nothing of the sort in India. So, last year, I decided to curate a festival that would put the spotlight solidly on drummers and this festival was born,” explains Gino.
Although the focus will be on traditional drum kits, many of the artistes will also incorporate elements of other percussion instruments into their sets — a trait unique to this year’s set. “We have Pete Lockett coming in from Britain. He is well versed in tabla and it will be interesting to see how the audience reacts to seeing a British drummer playing Indian instruments,” the drummer says with a laugh, adding that Kurt Peters, Swarupa Ananth and young Lydian Nadhaswaram are other up-and-coming talent to watch out for at the festival.
Another rather unusual guest at the festival is Rhythm Shaw, a talented young guitarist, who is known for his intricate patterns of playing. Gino explains that it is primarily because the guitarist is playing along with him in a set. “He and I have collaborated for a couple of numbers, which we want to showcase at the festival. Also, since he too focuses on rhythm in his playing style, it seemed apt to have him as part of the line-up,” says the drummer.
Explaining the usual attitude towards drummers, which often tend to push them to the background, Gino says that in a world, which predominantly thrives on lyrics, people don’t want to listen to only drums. “People who love to listen to predominantly instrumental music are usually those who have grown up listening to such music or play an instrument themselves. Others usually prefer songs, which actually have lyrics and in those cases, the melody obviously dominates over the rhythm,” he explains.
However, this does not stop people from pouring in to watch the drummers and Gino says that last year’s festival was a full house and that they are hoping for a similar turnout this year. “People might have got bored if they only had to listen to one drummer play for an hour. But here, we have a number of different artistes playing sets of around 20 to 30 minutes, each in their unique style. Besides, drumming is a visual delight as well, and people are usually fascinated to watch as well as listen to drummers,” he explains.
On February 23, 8 pm onwards,
At St. Andrew's Auditorium, 55, St Domnic Rd, Sayed Wadi, Bandra (W)