The famed Macari trio from Mexico is finally here

Their kitchen in Mexico quite regularly comes up with chutney, chapati and pulao. And, more importantly, their music is heavily influenced by Indian music, Carnatic especially. So when they tell you it’s the first time they’re performing here, you can’t help thinking, “Finally!”

Fifty-four-year-old Eblen Macari and son Kabalan (24) will be showcasing their brand of Mexican music at the World Music from Mexico festival to be held in New Delhi and Gurgaon this Thursday and Friday. While Eblen will play the guitar, Kabalan would be in charge of electronic percussion.

Regular performers at music festivals around the world, their music is a synthesis of Son Jarocho, the traditional music style of Veracruz in the south of Mexico, and Arabic and Indian influences. “A lot of people in Mexico play Indian music,” says Eblen. Familiar with most Indian ragas, Bhairavi is his particular favourite.

On the criticism that most fusion artistes face from purists, Eblen says, “All music is mixed. Even Hindustani music traces its roots to Persian music. Similarly, Mexican music, due to its colonial past, is highly influenced by Spanish and African tradition. That’s why I don’t find it difficult to mix music.” Kabalan, on the other hand, is a trained jazz musician and also goes by the name DJ Skaff. He’s a rockstar too, being part of two bands, Band Minimals and The Bit-Crushers.

While Mexican music for most is the Mariachi one got to see in gun-wielding action hero flicks like Desperado and the likes, the Macari duo sees it as a stereotype they’d be better off without. “People’s perception of Mexican music is mostly through America and Hollywood. That’s something we want to change,” says Eblen. Eblen and Kabalan, along with multi-instrumentalist Jesus Yusuf Isa Cuevas, form the Eblen Macari Trio. While Eblen brings out his guitar and Kabalan keeps up with an impromptu vocal percussion. “He plays it more like the mridangam in Carnatic music?” mutters Eblen.

The concerts will be held at Kamani auditorium in New Delhi and Epicentre in Gurgaon on September 17 and 18 respectively at 7 p.m.