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    Unwind Centre relaunches with a jam pad for artistes, weekend jazz nights and a concert space for upcoming bands.

    Before NH7 and Supersonic, there was the June Rock Out (JRO)—a music festival that brought the country’s best to the city. But for years now, not a riff has been heard. All that’s going to change with Edison Prithiviraj, the founder of Exodus event management, taking over as managing trustee of the Unwind Centre, the once-popular music centre (and organisers of JRO). “We were on a sabbatical because of financial constraints, but now we are back,” smiles Prithiviraj, who is excited about bringing back Live 101 and introducing a new jazz night. “The music scene is booming now, with lots of youngsters taking it up thanks to the technology available to them. But they don’t have many venues to perform—besides college competitions and hotels. Our space gives them an opportunity to organise a concert for an interested audience.”
    All that jazz
    Everyone says they love jazz, but hardly anybody listens to it now. Prithiviraj hopes his Friday jazz nights, set to launch in June, will drum up interest. But first, he’s setting the stage with the annual Madras Jazz Festival (June 4-5). “This year we will have blues singer Magos Herrera from Mexico, guitarist-composer Amyt Datta from Kolkata, Dutch saxophonist Maarten Visser and Generation Band, a young jazz trio from Mumbai which has Louiz Banks’ son Gino on drums,” says the 41-year-old. And that’s not all. Next month, as part of World Music Day celebrations, he is planning a week-long celebration with bands from Chennai, Bengaluru and Kerala.
    Baby steps
    Though the Unwind Centre will officially launch in June, Prithiviraj already has Live 101 up and running. With five concerts under its belt—by varied acts like Korangan, a Tamil rock band, to Kisa Guys and EndlessKnot—the centre will host upcoming and established artistes every Saturday. “We are also proud of our jam pad—a fully equipped, sound proof space (`350 for an hour)—where artistes can come and practise,” he adds. Meanwhile, the Unwind School of Music will have professional musicians leading classes—from guitar and keyboards to special segments on electronic music production and disc jockeying (`1,500 onwards). “We are a small space, but we stand for great music in a wholesome environment. Since we don’t allow smoking or drinking, it’s a place you can bring children to. In fact, last week, we had our youngest audience member ever, a two-year-old boy who stood up front for an entire concert,” concludes Prithiviraj.
    Tomorrow, catch Shenkar and the Radiotronics, at 7 pm. Rs 150. Details: 9841186951

    —Surya Praphulla Kumar

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