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Masters Of Guitar II Postponed

Guitarist Susmit Sen says that sponsors backed out at the nth hour

Rolling Stone India Mar 13, 2013
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Bernie Marsden with Susmit Sen at Masters of Guitar debut show in Mumbai. Photo: Naman Saraiya

Bernie Marsden with Susmit Sen at Masters of Guitar debut show in Mumbai. Photo: Naman Saraiya

The ambitious Masters Of Guitar series that kicked off in January this year featuring Susmit Sen and former Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden has been placed on the backburner as of now. “We could not get sponsors in time, so the Masters of Guitar II gig is postponed. I have plans to feature five editions this year and we may have four of those continuously or every two months, once the season changes and it is not so hot,” Sen told ROLLING STONE India.

Screen grab of the Masters of Guitar II, which was slated to take place this month

Screen grab of the Masters of Guitar II, which was slated to take place this month

The Master of Guitar series boasted a lineup packed with names such as Joe Satriani, Scott Henderson and Steve Vai according to reports in the mainstream media. Says Henderson referring to the use of his name to promote the Masters of Guitar series, “This is copyright infringement, false advertising, and fraud. I will also be contacting Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Pat Metheny, and any other American guitarists whose names have been fraudulently used by Susmit Sen.”

In an email to ROLLING STONE India, Joel Hoffner, Vector Management, which manages guitarist Steve Vai also wrote: “I’m writing to let you know that Steve Vai, his booking agency or myself are not aware of or have ever been contacted about the Masters of Guitar II Summit in India.”

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Sen clarified, “We are still working on contracts with other artists.” But news of this no-show in New Delhi has given Hindi film composer and jazz enthusiast Sandeep Chowta, who is organizing a Tribal Tech reunion show in Mumbai on March 14th, a reason to worry. Chowta told ROLLING STONE India, “Susmit Sen was interested in doing the Tribal Tech show in Delhi. I was asked to book Tribal Tech’s departure out of India from Delhi.” Tribal Tech was to perform in Delhi on March 16th. “The sound engineer’s fee, all the additional gear that was to be made available for Tribal Tech to be flown to Delhi and back are all costs that I will have to bear. The expenses are just mounting now,” added Chowta, who says that he will also have to bear the artist fee expenses for the cancelled second show. Sen defends, “The show had never been confirmed, but we have given Sandeep a token amount of Rs 2 lakh.” When asked why the show was advertised without a booking, Sen said that he had only booked a venue [Blue Frog] and the promotions stopped as soon as he realized that the show sponsors had backed out.

Chowta added that he was in talks with Sen for Tribal Tech to perform in Delhi. “I didn’t know that Susmit was booking Scott [Henderson] for the Masters of Guitar series,” said Chowta. Henderson, on his part, also added that he hadn’t heard about Masters of Guitar or Sen or any of his projects, which led Sen to question why Chowta had not informed Henderson about the show if he had made their bookings out of Delhi. “Now I just have to find a way to book another gig in Delhi or bear the losses,” said Chowta. 

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The Masters Of Guitar Series has been placed on hold and Sen hopes to make some new announcements soon.


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