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All for Michael

The passing of Michael Jackson has had an impact on all of musicdom. I wanted to pay tribute to him as well, since his artistry has been a profound influence on me all through my life. So after much preparation I put together my band of astounding musicians for a complete experience of what Michael’s […]

Luke Kenny Sep 26, 2009
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The passing of Michael Jackson has had an impact on all of musicdom. I wanted to pay tribute to him as well, since his artistry has been a profound influence on me all through my life. So after much preparation I put together my band of astounding musicians for a complete experience of what Michael’s music and artistry was all about. This was on July 29, a whole month before his birthday, which will have passed by the time you read this. Anyway, so I mixed up the live band songs interspersed with music videos and dance performances, done by yours truly, in an attempt to balance out the complete atmosphere. I opened the show with the HIStory trailer and followed it up with an excerpt from the Legend Award that Michael received from Janet at the 35th Grammy Awards in 1993. I then went into the ‘Carmina Burana-Brace Yourself’ montage that is so powerful. I then began the show with a dance performance to ‘Jam,’ which was what I used to do way back in my college days.

My band comprised Jai Row Kavi on drums, Johan Pais on bass, Shon Pinto on guitars and Gulraj Singh on keys. I have never had a finer band in all the performances I have done so far. The qualitative mastery of all the songs and the playing of them was stellar. Gulraj’s keyboard parts in ‘Dirty Diana’ and ‘Smooth Criminal’ were killer. Not to mention my little vocal jam with him on ‘The Way You Make Me Feel.’ I then brought in Rhys D’Souza, who is one of the finest saxophone players in the country today. His rendition of ‘Ben’ and subsequent support on ‘We Are the World-You Are Not Alone-Heal the World’ was mesmerising. Shon Pinto is one of the most underrated guitarists on the Indian scene and I was glad to be fortunate enough to have him play with me. His solos on ‘Beat It’ and ‘Black or White’ were smashing, and it couldn’t have been better. Jai and Johan have been a constant with me for a few gigs now and I find them to be the heart and soul of what I do. Their musicianship and professionalism are one of the highlights that every musician should aspire to.

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I ended the show with a rendition of ‘Man in the Mirror,’ which the audience ended up singing and followed it with the video of ‘Will You Be There?,’ which I’m sure touched everyone in the audience. It was a night to remember. So there it was, my heartfelt tribute to the greatest performer that the world has ever known, and who has now passed into legend, up there along with Lennon, Morrison, Hendrix, Joplin, Brown, Cobain, Presley and many others who visited this earth and imparted genius and creativity and made our lives enjoyable for awhile. Michael Jackson lives on.

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