Language of melody

GLOBAL MUSIC: Sayon Bamba Camara swings to the music of Jugal Bandi.   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: C. RATHEESH KUMAR


A French band called `Jugal Bandi' emphasised that music knows no barriers.

What exchange and dialogue between various music cultures of the world can do was brought out with telling effect as the French band `Jugal Bandi' performed at AKG Hall in Thiruvananthapuram. Jugal Bandi has musicians from different parts of the globe. The tabla player is an Indian, Nabankur Bhattacharya alias Pinku; Sayon Bamba Camara, a singer, dancer and actor from Guinea, and the percussionist Hamid Gribi comes from Algeria. The others are sarod player Richard Bernet and trumpeteer Eric Massua alias Ricco. Their base guitarist is Laurent Pernice. The band adopted the Indian name Jugal Bandi because it means `linked together.'

Harmonious blend of music

Ricco on the trumpet heralded the opening of the concert, followed by Laurent Pernice on the guitar. It was interspersed with a short alaap in raag Yaman with Richard Bernet on the sarod. This harmonious blend of music was carried on by the percussionist Hamid Gribi, followed by Nabankur on the tabla. The sound of the trumpet created a mesmerising effect.

Rich repertoire

Sayon Bamba Camara enlivened the atmosphere with her rich repertoire of songs in French along with short and simple dance steps. One of the songs that attracted the attention of the audience was `Co Co Co.' The audience was invited to sing along, which they did with gusto. A surprise was Sayon's rendering of `Vande Mataram.' It started off with fast-paced drum beats, with the percussionist at times thumping the kalimpa, a Caribbean folk musical instrument. Equally enchanting was the tabla bol `thaka dhimi thaka dhimi' of Nabankur, which was recreated by the trumpeteer and the percussionist. Richard Bernet regaled the listeners with a thumri composed by the sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan in raga Bhairavi. Bernet also played the esraj, a musical instrument that is a combination of the sarod and the dotara. The one-and-a-half-hour concert ended with a dance number led by Sayon in which the audience also enthusiastically pitched in. It was Jugal Bandi's first performance in India. They will soon be touring Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai. The concert was organised by Alliance Francaise de Trivandrum in association with the Embassy of France in India and HSBC Bank.