One of the highlights this spring was definitely the coming together of the original Human Bondage: Fred Manricks, Xerxes Gobhai, Babu Joseph, Suresh Shottam and myself! We met up in Goa in February after much planning to get one week together, to hang, reminisce and jam! It couldn’t have been more perfect!
Two weeks later the Phoenix Foundation Youth Jazz Orchestra led by Frank Reichert landed up in India for a 5-city tour. I organised the whole thing with the help of my jazz-loving friends in various Indian cities. I also received support from Goethe Institutes in Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi. The band played a set of selected modern big band arrangements of well-known tunes followed by an Indo-Jazz-Fusion set featuring singer Ramamani and myself. Arrangements of the 4 original tunes (DaPa, Panchamukhi, Xillob and Five Cities) for this set were done by my friend Ronan Guilfoyle, bassist, composer, arranger and educator from Dublin. The young musicians of the Phoenix Foundation blew away the audiences in India! The 4 new arrangements have been documented and will be released on CD along with material recorded on their Korean tour.
Immediately after returning from India on the 14th of March, I drove down to Reichenberg near Würzburg to play at the Guitar Masters Festival with Larry Coryell and Kazumi Watanabe. Needless to say, it was a fabtastic experience!
Back in Cologne dancer Benedetta Reuter and I finished a ‘Kultur und Schule’ project we started in 2012 at the Heinrich Böll Gesamtschule.
This was followed by gigs with Ensemble Fisfüz and Mandala with Sigi Schwab. Though the weather is cold and wet right now, I’m looking forward to a terrific summer:))