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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Master of the Sax

International saxophone player Yuri Honing on his love for jazz music,Indian food and Rajasthani Sufi music.

Written by Anjali Jhangiani KP | Published: November 30, 2013 1:22:28 am

Almost instantly,as Yuri Honing’s fingers get a calculated grip over the keys on his saxophone,and his lips take their place on the mouthpiece,the room is filled with smooth,soulful and sometimes funky jazz sounds. His is the kind of music that can make you fall in love with the genre,the musician or even with life. Watching him perform,one would be compelled to believe that music runs through his veins,and so it does.

“When I was a baby,my mother used to make me sit next to her and practice on the piano. You can even say that my tryst with music started even before I was born. Everyone at home is very passionate about it,” says Honing,who performed in the city along with his band called Wired Paradise on Thursday. He recalls family dinners during his childhood,when his father would put on any random classical piece and ask Yuri and his siblings to identify which piece was playing. “The game would go on till we finished our meal and got ready for bed,” says Honing,who hails from Amsterdam.

He adds that when he was five years old,he once broke into tears while listening to his mother play the instrument and since then was determined to take up music as a career. Though jazz compositions involve many calculations,Honing believes that a listener should only connect with the music emotionally. “You cannot force one to like the genre,if they don’t get it,they will never get it. It cannot be an acquired taste,” says Honing.

A purist when it comes to jazz,he feels that fusion must be done with caution. “Sometimes artistes use Indian music out of context and say their piece is influenced by Indian music,sometimes pop uses a bit of jazz and labels it as pop-jazz. It is silly. A fusion must add value to both genres involved and not take away from them,” says Honing.

But he does pick up different influences and uses them as inspiration for his compositions. His eyes light up particularly as he talks about his fascination for Rajasthani Sufi music. “I connect with it very deeply. I love music which is folksy,” he says.

Apart from music,good food makes Honing happy. On his eighth visit to India,he reveals that the logistics of his India tour is planned in such a way that the band is able to stop at some of the well-known restaurants between their performances.

“My friends back in Europe ask me why I like coming back to India time and again. And I say,India is like the world multiplied by thousand. It is a thousand times more beautiful and a thousand times uglier,” says the 48-year-old,who will be touring Bangalore,Goa and Kolkata.

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