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Netherlands-based Van Merwijk’s Music Machine’s debut India tour

Bandleader and renowned percussionist Lucas Van Merwijk’s jazz quartet to begin tour with Bengaluru

Rolling Stone India Mar 31, 2015
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Van Merwijk's Music Machine | Photo: Courtesy of artist

Van Merwijk’s Music Machine | Photo: Courtesy of artist

Setting foot on Indian soil with his jazz quartet Van Merwijk’s Music Machine for the first time, Netherlands-based acclaimed drummer and bandleader Lucas Van Merwijk says, “It’s all a big adventure to me.” Van Merwijk, who is a staff teacher with the World Music department of Rotterdam CODARTS conservatory and the jazz department of the Amsterdam Conservatory for close to 30 years, has performed music styles native to Brazil, Caribbean, East Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. “The interesting thing is that after a while you start to realize all rhythms are connected in one way or another,” says Van Merwijk, who additionally plays the piano, bass and guitar.  

It’s unsurprising then that his band has a unique fluid structure that makes room for a new lineup and a new theme every year. Says Van Merwijk, “I play Cuban music, salsa and Latin jazz with my bigger ensembles [Cubop City Big Band and Netherlands-based eight-piece Latin jazz band Nueva Manteca]. In this case I wanted to play in a smaller an intimate setting which is why I invited [Cuban pianist, composer and arranger] Ramon Valle.”  Joining Van Merwijk and Valle on stage will be bassist Samuel Ruiz and Bert Boeren on trombone.

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Despite being exposed to jazz during his childhood, Van Merwijk didn’t develop an interest till he was 19, two years after he began pursuing music professionally. “My first interest in music was pop music; the Beatles, The Rolling Stones and some 70s punk bands such as The Sex Pistols,” he adds. Influenced by the likes of Ringo Starr, Tony Williams, Steve Gadd and Vinnie Colaiuta at an impressionable age, Van Merwijk says that his style of drumming hasn’t changed much in the last 25 years. He adds, “I did learn a lot of new rhythms, new genres and some new techniques though. So I guess and I hope it has ripened and has become more mature. When you are young you tend to play more busy.”

The Van Merwijk’s Music Machine is in India to perform a program called Cuban Classics. “The Indian audience can expect from us some great, positive, swinging, afro Cuban, foot tapping Latin-jazz. I’m sure everybody will leave the concert feeling better than they did when they arrived!”

 

Van Merwijk’s Music Machine will be performing across 4 cities. Tour details listed below:

April 1st: India International Centre, Delhi, 6.30pm onwards.

April 4th: Art Escape, Bay Watch Resort, Goa

April 5th: Indigo Live Music Bar, Bengaluru, 8pm onwards. Get your tickets here.

April 8th: Blue FROG, Pune (free entry), 9.30pm onwards.

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