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Jazz and the Jet Set: Igor Butman

When Russian tenor saxophonist Igor Butman had to make a detour of sorts from his ongoing India tour, at the behest of Russian President Vladimir Putin

Sunil Sampat Oct 12, 2015
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Igor Butman

Russian jazz saxophonist Igor Butman performing with his quartet at NCPA Mumbai | Photo: Courtesy of NCPA.

While it is exciting to go to your local auditorium and hear musicians from some far corner of the world performing for you, there might also be some behind-the-scenes dynamics about the musicians on tour that are also exciting.

One such intriguing instance occurred last week. The fabulous quartet of Igor Butman had played an evening of fine jazz at the Tata Theatre at the NCPA. They were then to travel to Delhi to play two more concerts in New Delhi and Gurgaon before returning to their native Russia.

However, Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia and a friend of Butman’s, had hosted an event in the town of Sochi in Russia on the following day, October 7th. He requested Igor to play at the party; he also sent a private jet plane to ferry him to the venue!

After the NCPA concert, Butman rushed to the airport, flew on Mr. Putin’s private jet to Sochi, played at the President’s party and flew back to Delhi the next day to continue his India concert commitments!

Move over 007. You never played the tenor saxophone too well anyway.

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