Musicians tune for golden moments

Venkat Raman

It is common for organisers of musical concerts and reviewers to concentrate on the singer/s and virtually ignore the orchestra, which in fact sets the tune and tone for every song, be it a film number or a classical piece.

“Instruments enliven songs and hence no Orchestra, should be left out a musical equation, just because they are known as ‘supporters.’ In fact, a musician brings out his or her best only with the help of a supporting group. The same holds good for a classical and modern dancers,” a famous music critic said, on a lengthy piece about instrumental music.

Qualified tribute

On that score, we would like to pay tribute to a team of ten musicians who will set the stage on fire, participating in ‘Old is Gold VII,’ scheduled to be held at Dorothy Winstone Centre, Auckland Girls Grammar School, Auckland on Saturday, May 2, 2015.

Popular among the members of the South Asian communities, each of them has made a mark in their respective vocations and professions. As few of them have dedicated their life and career to the world of music.

Amit Sengupta

Musicians tune for- Amit SenguptaA master composer, arranger, conductor, organiser, singer and Harmonium player, Amit Sengupta has been a friend of Indian Newslink for more than 12 years, the first few years of which he pursued his daytime profession of accounting.

The increasing number of music lovers and budding singers keen to learn the art of singing prompted him to establish ‘Mohammed Rafi Academy of Music,’ (the Academy and one of his sons bear the name of the late singer). The plethora of talent that he could hone and present on stage encouraged Amit to conduct the ‘Old is Gold’ series, the Seventh Edition of which is currently under production.

Amit is a polite and trusted friend but woe betide those outraging his modesty.

Basant Madhur

Musicians tune for- Basant MadhurBasant Madhur is a star Tabla artiste who has accompanied almost all internationally renowned musicians in various parts of the world.

As Director and Principal of Sargam School of Indian Music, his commitment is also to explore and expose talents. Scores of students learn from him, not only his offerings as a Tabla master but also humility and respect for people, which are hallmarks of his life and career.

We have visited the School, which has been a source of learning and inspiration for the younger members of the society, adults and even the elderly. Since its establishment in 2006, it has been a citadel of learning for people of varied ethnicity and culture.

Diya Antony

Musicians tune for- Diya AnthonyYoung and talented Diya is a refreshing change to the beaten pattern of male-dominated guitarists and her affable manners and eagerness to learn have made her a welcome member of any group.

Learning to play the guitar since she was eight years old, Diya has been a keen participant in a growing number of musical shows along with her father Yempee.

A student of the New Zealand Modern School of Music, Diya says she enjoys Indian music and loves tuning melodious songs.

Hemant Thaker

Musicians tune for- Hemant ThakerHemant Thaker is known as for his omnipresence, for there is hardly a music show that does not feature him on the keyboard. We could not place his age a day beyond 34 but a brief about him says that he has been an instrumentalist for the past 35 years, 11 of which been on both sides of the Tasman.

He has been an illustrious member of the ‘Gurus of Groove,’ the group that present live music at the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards since their launch in 2008.

Jeremi Robin D’Cruze

Musicians tune for- Jeremi Robin D'CruzeAt 13 years, Jeremi D’Cruze is the youngest member of the ‘Old is Gold’ instrumentalists playing Drums, although his passion is Jazz.

Jeremi was a part of Old is Gold VI held last year.

He plays Jazz for his School band.

He has participated in the Auckland School Jazz Festival in 2014.

Joseph Alexander

Musicians tune for- Joseph AlexanderAbout ten years ago Joseph Alexander (‘Alex’ to us) used to say that he was nervous playing at Indian shows, because Western music had since long monopolised his prowess, making him a top player for bands such as the ‘7th Galaxy N Crimson Rage.’

His performances with Leslie Louis of ‘Colonial Cousins’ had confirmed that status but the growing demand for the quiet and unassuming man has made him a professional at Electronic Drums and our ‘Awards Player’ with the ‘Gurus of Groove.’

Kamla Prasad

Musicians tune for- Kamla PrasadNew Zealanders would have the first opportunity to see Kamla Prasad as he debuts at ‘Old is Gold VII.’ Having migrated from his native Fiji recently, he is keen to enlarge his circle of friends and music lovers in New Zealand and hopes that the forthcoming show would focus the spotlight on him.

With 25 years of experience as a Tabla and Dholak artiste, he is keen to learn Harmonium from Amit after the show on May 2, at which he will play the Dholak.

Madan Kalyan

Musicians tune for- Madan KalyanHe attributes his talent to the mastery of his father M Kalyan, popularly known as the ‘Singing Violin’ in the Tamil film industry.

Beginning his music career at the tender age of six under his father’s watchful eyes and ears, Madan obtained qualifications (Grade 6) in Violin with honours from the Trinity College of Music London.

He has also completed courses and programmes in Carnatic Music and Indian Classical Music conducted by violinists and vocalists in Tamil Nadu.

Ravi Nyayapati

Musicians tune for- Ravi NyayapatiTo hundreds of thousands of Indian Newslink readers he is an expert Cricket Commentator, Umpire, player and enthusiast. Almost all of them have seen him compering shows and offering rthymic support playing the Dholak and Tabla.

But the hidden talent of Ravi Nyayapati will become vocal as he renders one or two songs at the forthcoming show.

Shivam Padayachi

Musicians tune for- Shivam PadayachiBase guitarists are often considered trendy, living in a world of their own; conforming to which is Shivam Padayachi. His role at ‘Desi Fever,’ a popular local band has been pronounced and music lovers recognise and applaud his talent at all shows.

He has been a part of the ‘Gurus of Groove’ that is present at the annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards Presentation ceremonies.

Shivam is a registered electrical inspector, adding yet another string to his qualifications and capabilities.

Vishnu MangalkariMusicians tune for- Vishnu Mangalkari

An ardent music lover and student of Amit, Vishnu Mangalkari will handle acoustic percussions, in addition to singing a song at ‘Old is Gold VII.’

Weekdays keep him busy at Fletcher Building, constructing his professional career.

Yempee Antony

Musicians tune for- Yempee AnthonyThis soft-spoken member of the Kerala community is a veteran guitarist, stringing music since his scholastic days.

Following his migration to New Zealand, he has had opportunities to accompany a number of prominent performers.

“My motivation to continue playing comes mainly from my deep interest in music and the encouragement I receive from my friends and family,” he said.


What: Old is Gold VII

Who: Mohammed Rafi Academy of Music

Where: Dorothy Winstone Centre

  Auckland Girls Grammar School

  Howe Street, Newton

When: Saturday, May 2 at 7 pm

Tickets: $20 at selected outlets

Contact: Amit Sengupta on (09) 6295278 or 022-4249269

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