Thursday saw the launch of the eighth edition of The Hindu  Friday Review November Fest

The eighth edition of The Hindu Friday Review November Fest was launched at the Vivanta by Taj Connemara with a richly-textured and tonally-embellished concert by Joscheba, the jazz band from Hamburg.

Joscheba Schnetter (vocals) accompanied by Buggy Braune (piano), Johannes Wennrich (guitar), Arnd Geise (bass) and Derek Scherzer (drums) drew an appreciative audience with her jazz standards. Beginning with ‘Don’t Let Me Wait’, the band worked its way through different moments in jazz repertoire making every song sound strikingly new.

The band performed their original composition ‘Memory’ followed by ‘You Taught My Heart To Sing’ in which solo sections bloomed. ‘Voice Inside My Head’ with its harmonised riffs spelt out plangent melodies while complicated improvisations marked the high-on-rhythm ‘On the Move’.

The evening began with the lighting of the kuthuvilakku by legendary Hindustani vocalist Pandit Jasraj, mridangam maestro Karaikudi Mani, V.S. Narasimhan of the Madras String Quartet, well-known flautist Shashank Subramanyam and Sandy Evans of the Australian Art Orchestra.

Vijay Shrikent, general manager, Vivanta by Taj Connemara welcomed the gathering. Arun Anant, CEO, Kasturi and Sons, pointed out that the eighth edition of the fest is a renewal of the promise to bring many forms of music from as many parts of the world.

Mukund Padmanabhan, senior associate editor, The Hindu and curator of the fest since its inception in 2005, talked about how the fest offers “a platform for diverse styles and genres from across the world.”

Besides Chennai, the fest is also held at Bangalore, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and Kochi. This year, the Chennai edition brings together prominent and promising Indian artistes and musicians from Australia, Austria, Germany and Korea.

The six-day fest opens on Friday with Pandit Jasraj’s concert.