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WOMAD Feature Artist U Shrinivas

WOMAD Feature Artist U Shrinivas (India)

13-15 March
Brooklands Park & TSB Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth
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The virtuosity of Shrinivas on electric mandolin gives this unlikely instrument respectability and credence in high classical music. As a child prodigy, Shrinivas combined the highly complex Carnatic music of southern India with his own style of modified Western mandolin techniques, producing a dazzling sound that straddles jazz and sophisticated Indian classical music.

Shrinivas shot into prominence in the 1980s as a child prodigy. At 13, he took the Western world by storm, appearing at the 1983 Jazzfest in West Berlin, mixing Indian classical music with jazz sounds. “He’s got it in him. He’s fantastic”, raved the legendary Don Cherry at the time. He later starred at the ‘92 Barcelona Olympics Music Festival.

Shrinivas has modified the western mandolin and adapted it to the needs of the highly complex Carnatic (south Indian) music, with a dazzling range of musical effects at his fingertips.

Credited with “a soaring melodic imagination”, Shrinivas is equally at home in the realm of jazz as in the highly sophisticated world of Indian classical music. His collaborations with eminent artists like John McLaughlan and Zakir Hussain (‘Remember Shakti’ group) and Nigel Kennedy have received rave reviews.

He is accompanied by his brother Rajesh, another fine mandolin player, and mridangam (percussionist) K Murugaboopathi.

Selected quotes

“The extraordinary electric mandolin of U Shrinivas suggests the melodic flexibility of a sitar, the hooting vibrato of a distant wind instrument, and the upper register delicacies of a violin. “ The Guardian, UK.

“The undoubted musical jewel of the 2002 Adelaide Festival was Shrinivas. For sheer brilliance and inspired musicianship Shrinivas took the crown.” Graham Strahle, The Australian.

By arrangement with support from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.


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