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Gig Review: New Brazilian Music & Jazz, Mumbai

Brazilian guitarist Daniel Marques and Dutch flautist Mark Alban Lotz played an intricate set to a rather undersized audience

Sunil Sampat May 09, 2017
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Brazil Jazz

Flautist Mark Alban Lotz and guitarist Daniel Marques perform at Hotel Executive Plaza in Mumbai. Photo: Courtesy of Recalling Roots

As a society we seem to be struggling with our communication tools in an era when, ironically, communication has been the easiest ever! We don’t seem to be able to tell people about concerts in our midst. A wonderful music concert, New Brazilian Music & Jazz was held in Mumbai on May 6th and, sadly only a handful of people knew about it. The duo of musicians, Daniel Marques from Brazil, playing acoustic guitar and Mark Alban Lotz from The Netherlands playing multiple flutes, performed in Bandra at Veranda in Hotel Executive Plaza. They played both solo and duo pieces to a very small audience, which included the Consul General of Brazil in Mumbai. 

The duo played in Kathmandu for International Jazz Day on April 30th and have been on an India tour since then with Bengaluru-based events agency Recalling Roots. Prior to Mumbai, they performed in New Delhi and Pune.

Marques had an exquisite tone on his guitar; there was some inherent mellowness that one recalls from other Brazilian guitarists as well – Laurindo Almeida, Luiz Bonfá and others. Marques’ skill and virtuosity was of a high level. Both musicians were playing their own compositions and arrangements which were intricate and well worked out. On his flute solos, Lotz played two compositions, one dedicated to Captain Shakleton’s disastrous sea voyage to Antarctica, where they were lost at sea but through superhuman efforts, Shakleton enabled the rescue of all hands. In another piece, Lotz depicted the stark beauty of a night in a desert with the flute portraying the sounds of howling winds.

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Sadly, the venue did not do justice to the quality of the music. They played on a makeshift platform put together in what was essentially a bar area in the restaurant where several patrons continued their socializing, chatting and laughing, totally oblivious to the music being performed. It also did not help that the concert time was shifted from 7 PM to 8 PM and further delayed to 10:30 PM. The show actually got under way only at 11 PM. Still, about 25 die-hard music lovers endured the circumstances and stayed through the recital.

Unfortunately, there was a large community of music lovers in Mumbai who were just not aware of this opportunity to hear this fine musical duo. Such a shame.

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