The Kyle Shepherd Trio, a jazz band comprising a South African, a Japanese who plays double bass, and Dutch drummer are looking forward to performing in the city tonight
Is it odd when a South African teams up with two musicians – one of them Japanese and another a Dutch drummer who now stays in Japan? Or is that just the best part about globalisation and the Internet? Say what you may, but that might be one of the reasons the Kyle Shepherd Trio are going even further with their music, with a three-city tour of five concerts in India starting today at BFlat in Indiranagar. The trio goes on to play in Goa on October 27, followed by a solo concert by Shepherd in Mumbai on October 29.
En route from shows in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to India and then onto Japan, the Kyle Shepherd Trio is yet another piano-driven jazz act that is invading the city this week. Over an email interview from Malaysia, Seigo Matsunaga, who plays double bass with Shepherd, and apparently is most reliable in the group with the English language, talks about how the trio is doing at its first jam session. “This was kind of a dream for Kyle to visit India; for me too. My French friend in Fukuoka (Japan) introduced me to Emmanuelle from Gatecrash (a booking agency) in Mumbai, and she arranged concerts for us in India,” says Matsunaga. Although it’s his first gig in India, as it is for the other two members, Matsunaga firmly believes “there is no difference or borders in music.”
Indeed, the band has put into practice their thought about music having no borders. Matsunaga recalls meeting Shepherd first in 2011: “I was playing many gigs in Cape Town between 2009 and 2010 and we started talking about collaborating. We started planning first tour in Japan at the time.” The bassist and pianist struck common ground; discussing topics related to Japanese culture such as Zen and Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. They kicked off the Asian Trio project in 2011 and there’s been no looking back for either member since then. Matsunaga likens Shepherd to having a gift. He adds, “Kyle is amazing. Sharing the stage and making music with him is a very spiritual feeling.”
In just the span of two years, the trio has toured Europe and Asia. Matsunaga says they come with a new joke for every tour they embark on. “We have to make a new one for this tour,” adds Matsunaga. One of the more recent tour memories included their ill-fated show on Miyako Island in September last year, which was called off on account of Typhoon Sanba. Says Matsunaga of the cancelled gig, “Five groups were supposed to perform at this festival, but everybody couldn’t take the flight because of Typhoon Sanba. So, we ended up sharing stage with a local group from Miyako-Island and our trio. There were just two bands.”
By the time Matsunaga answers the final question about whether they would explore India as tourists during their tour, he does mention that he hasn’t slept much at all, and promises to tell me more in person at their BFlat concert. Matsunaga reiterates the trio’s plans in India, saying, “India is a dream come true! We have a concert in Bangalore, Goa and Mumbai and a workshop, all in six days. So I think we don`t have much time to see and explore India, but I’m really looking forward to seeing many people, making new friends and sharing music.”
Kyle Shepherd Trio performs at B-Flat, 100 Ft Road, Indiranagar tonight from 8.30 pm onwards. For more details call 080 25278361/ 41739250 or visit Facebook.com/thebflatbar