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OML on Bringing Chick Corea to India: ‘This Was an Opportunity We Couldn’t Pass On’

The jazz legend will be playing his maiden tour of the country in November

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Sep 17, 2018

Chick Corea will perform solo, intimate piano sets in Mumbai and New Delhi this November. Photo: Onyx9/Shutterstock.com

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As legendary jazz pianist Chick Corea prepares to make his long-awaited India debut, it’s worth taking a peek behind the scenes at how it came to be.

Spearheaded by artist management firm/event management company Only Much Louder (OML), Corea’s India tour will see the multiple Grammy award-winning artist perform solo, intimate piano sets at Bal Gandharva Rang Mandir in Mumbai on November 3rd and Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi on November 4th.

Anuj Gupta, Business Head of Festivals and International Touring at OML, talks about the Indian touring circuit, creating diverse lineups and the process of making Corea’s India maiden show happen. Excerpts:

What were your first feelings on locking this show? This is big for both India and OML.

We are beyond excited to present Chick Corea’s first tour of India! In the past, India has been fortunate to witness concerts by jazz greats such as Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Wayne Shorter, Dave Weckl and many others, however in recent times its been DJs and pop acts that have dominated the touring circuit. Chick Corea is the much needed variety that I believe music fans have been craving.

How long was this in works for? We know it was under discussion for 16 months, but was having him here on the anvil for way longer?

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We had been discussing another other collaborative project with Chick Corea’s agency in early 2017, when we were offered the opportunity to tour Chick Corea in late 2018. While we don’t usually confirm shows 16 months in advance, this was an opportunity we couldn’t pass on.

Come to think of it, jazz isn’t OML’s preferred genre. Does Chick’s tour open more gates to more jazz/funk/blues acts in the future?

OML’s goal has always been to create iconic properties spanning across a variety of genres and cultures. If you indulge into the lineup for the Bacardi NH7 Weekender this year, you will find hints of jazz, funk and blues in artists such as Hiatus Kaiyote, Mohini Dey, FKJ, The Kush Upadhyay Group, Guthrie Govan, Worldservice Project and more. While large-scale jazz/blues tours might not be common, venues like The Quarter, NCPA, Piano Man, The Little Door and festivals such as the Jazz India Circuit, Delhi International Jazz Festival and others have been doing a great job promoting the genres. I do hope to see the frequency of these shows growing, and OML will definitely be a contributor to the growing curve!

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