By Noor Anand Chawla
“Music transcends all boundaries,” explains a jovial Walter J Lindner addressing a large gathering that is hanging on his every word. The German Ambassador to India was in Hyderabad to perform on stage with Delhi-based band The Revisit Project, at the recently held fourth edition of the Hyderabad International Jazz Festival. He continues, “As it is the fourth edition of the festival, it’s evident that Hyderabadis love jazz music.
Being able to perform live, on such sacred ground is an honour. The fact that so many people turned up to the event despite the Covid scare shows how many love, and many others are willing to understand jazz as a genre. That makes this festival a success.” This music afficionado certainly hit the right note with his observation. The garden amphitheatre Deccan Park at Quli Qutb Shahi Tombs, was packed to the gills last Sunday with people who had sorely missed the energy of a live jazz gig.
Free entry and strict Covid-19 protocols in place, encouraged people to attend in large numbers. The evening was a smashing success, with Lindner’s performance garnering the most accolades. He performed with The Revisit Project, with Abhay Sharma on the Saxophone, Aditya Bhagvatula on the Drums, Rythem Bansal on the Keyboard, Varun Rajasekharan on Percussions, Kanu Gangahar on Guitar, Karan Wadhwa on Bass, and Chetan Dominic Awasthi and Vrnda Dhar on Vocals.
Five other bands — from Mumbai, Switzerland, Germany and US — also performed for the festival which was organised and supported by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the US Consulate General in Hyderabad, Goethe-Zentrum, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. Local Hyderabadi group The Dennis Powell Collective opened the event, and was followed by a virtual concert from Switzerland’s Christoph Stiefel Inner Language Trio.
The US-based Laurin Talese Band played a virtual set, after which came Delhi’s The Revisit Project with H.E Lindner headlining on the flute. Next was a virtual performance by German band Filu Mela, and the festival closed with a live performance by Mumbai- based Adil Manuel Collective.Thriving on the engaged live audience, Lindner sums up the experience with, “Only five percent of what I play on stage is how the music for the song was written, the rest is improvisation. I react to the audience I play for, I react to the temperature, I react and improvise according to different things around me as I play. Jazz sets me free.” This particular evening’s performance certainly proved his sentiment.