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Telling us how she sang professionally at festivals from age 10, Sonera Doris Lavin, brings her vibrant sultry sound to Windmills Craftworks today and tomorrow. For the Cuban born singer, music is a way of life. “My aunts and grandmother were in choirs, and I would sing on the streets, alone, in groups, and started touring the island, on a public bus!” After training in music schools, she began her international gigs from Russia. Now based in Italy, the salsa singer tells us about her passion and one-of-a-kind gig.

How did you get into jazz?
It happened naturally as the public nudged me towards the style that pleased them, particularly in Europe. Salsa is actually a new title for traditional ‘Son’ music from the Cuban island that was given in the USA by the Cuban expatriates after the Castro revolution.

More on your love for music.
I like rhythm and movement. For me, music is not just a melody, it has to convey and transmit its own beat, and the one of the artiste. I am never afraid to go on stage. In fact, being on stage supports my energy and gives me good vibrations. And moreover, what definitely inspires me is to see my audience standing up and dancing to the tunes.
Sound of music.
I love Zakir Hussain. Tabla is for me a genial instrument, and when it is played, I feel out of my mind. Western classical music brings me anthems and jingles that support my creation. Lately, Lady Butterfly (Puccini) and Tritan and Isolde (Wagner) operas in Naples (the first and oldest opera house in the world) moved me enormously. Also, Mozart’s Requiem is an all-time favourite.

Mainstream vs Fringe.
The main problem of contemporary music is authenticity. A lot of it is fabricated and soulless revisited themes. But jazz is when musicians and composers try to express their own personal feelings. It has heritage, like the fight against slavery comes into many jazz musicians’ work. I inscribe my work into that tradition of ancestral roots and personal expression.

A peek into the performance.
At Windmills Craftwork, you will see the first presentation of my Indian group that I personally trained for a few months. We had to meet, mingle and play together. It will be the first step towards my Latin-Indian fusion project. And in a city like Bangalore, which loves different kinds of music and is very educated, they will know what to expect from a jazz concert. And I will hopefully deliver.

At EPIP Zone, Whitefield. Tickets (`500 standing, `1,000 seated)
on bookmyshow.com

— Aakanksha Devi