Saturday, July 17, 2010

Madan Kumar Blesses HCG

On a personal visit to Ahmedabad, mouth organ maestro Madan Kumar took time off on the evening of July 15, 2010 to share musical moments with the members of the Harmonica Club of Gujarat. As usual, club trustee Bansi Gajjar played the host.

During the evening between 8 to past midnight, Madan Kumar regaled the members of HCG with anecdotes from his more than 50 years of rich musical experience as also played a few numbers. He was humility personified in insisting on listening to the youngest players - Devansh and Aditya and gave them some tips as to how to improve their playing.

Madan Kumar presented to the HCG half a dozen of his yet to be released audio CDs saying, "I authorize the HCG to release these under their banner."

Madan Kumar was formally inducted into the HCG as a lifetime member and patron. Bansi Gajjar pinned the badge of the HCG to Madan Kumar's lapel.

Madan Kumar and members of the HCG later had dinner at the Cama Hotel where too several members as well as the harmonica maestro played a few numbers to the pleasant surprise of other diners.

Friday, July 16, 2010

An Evening with the Maestro

Living legend mouth organ maestro Madan Kumar was formally inducted into the Harmonica Club of Gujarat as a life member and patron on July 15, with club secretary Tapan Bhatt pinning the club's badge on his lapel.

Madan Kumar has intimate relationship with Ahmedabad. His wife hails from the city. Moreover, he has fond memory associated with the release of his first HMV record linked to Ahmedabad. He was in the town when he learned about the release of his HMV record which had his photograph on the cover. So when he went to pick up the record from a store, the shop owner immediately recognized him and gifted him his own record. It was only when he showed the record to his wife that she came to know she had married an accomplished musician.

"When I appeared for my first stage show in Pune, I was trembling with stage freight. I closed my eyes as the curtain went up and started playing, thankfully shutting my mind to the fact that I was playing before a large audience of college students. The thunderous applause, after my performance, wiped out my fear and I started giving stage performances thereafter," he recalled.

Madan Kumar has a unique style of playing mouth organ. He uses a variety of techniques to embellish his rendition - vamping, tremelo, chording, tonguing, bending. "Play by your soul," he advices his students.

Madan Kumar bestowed on the Harmonica Club of Gujarat a priceless gift in the form of giving the club the right to release his audio CDs under the banner of HCG. The club would soon release the CDs, comprising some of the special numbers by Madan Kumar at a function.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hai Apna Dil To Awara - Solva saal ( 1958 )

During my recent visit to New Delhi, I met our dear friend Mr. Ashok Bhandariji. It was a business trip and I was accompanied by my very close friend Rajendra, an NID student and a product designer by profession.

We have been talking over the phone for quite a long time, but this was the first occasion, to experience his magical playing with mesmerizing effects.

Nachiketa Desai and Ashokji shared the same room, during their college days. They used to play Harmonica in those days.

During the Harmonica Satsang ( with a chilled beer ), we actually experienced the emotions that he adds to his playing. Unfortunately none of us was carrying a camera.

During the meeting he appreciated the way Sabnaveesji plays. Surprisingly I got this unique Saaz aur Avaaz video from our senior member Sabnaveesji, which I would like to dedicate to Ashokji.

Long Live our friendship and let us keep the harmonica flag fly high...........