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Children take center stage at the Taaqademy Festival tonight

The Taaqademy Festival marks its third anniversary with a showcase of the school’s best student bands interspersed with performances by the faculty and founders too. “It gives kids of all ages (9 to 55!) a chance to experience the joy of performing live,” says Bruce Lee Mani, co-founder of the event. We catch up with some of the young participants in the line-up.

Create your own
This year, original compositions will rule the roost and almost every group has been working on the lyrics, riffs and tunes they have composed. “Creating new material is a huge step for any musician, and we’re happy that the bands have their own compositions now,” explains Mani. Plus, originals in genres like progressive rock, pop, funk, Hindustani and Carnatic classical to blues, soul and grunge.

Child’s play
Lunatic Fringe (11-13) categorise themselves as a rock ‘n’ roll outfit. The group comprises Ashwin Sriram (guitar), Sehej Ahluwalia (drums), Rohan Raveesh (guitar), Tarang Joseph (vocals and keyboard) and Sonoli Chowdhary (bass). Watch out for numbers like Comfortably Numb, Don’t Stop Me Now, Going Down and their original song, Dominos. The band is influenced by Jimi Hendrix,

Santana and Queen
The Second Floor (13-15 years) is a progressive rock powerhouse with Kriti Jhanji (vocals), Vedant Kalbag (drums), Arjun Ramdas (bass), Rishab Srikanth (guitars) and Gaurav ‘Chuckie’ Kamat (guitars). “We named ourselves The Second Floor since that’s where Taaqademy is,” smiles Srikanth. The group loves classic outfits like Guns ‘n’ Roses, AC/DC and Jeff Beck. They are still working on a suitable title for their original number, but based on the life of singer Kurt Cobain.

Silver Lining (13-16 years) is a peppy all-girl rock band influenced by Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. With Aanchal Machani (bass), Alisha Machani (vocals and guitar), Ishita Sagar (drums) and Merzia Cutlerywala (vocals). “We want to practice at festivals in schools and work hard till we are tight enough to play bigger gigs,” Alisha enthuses.

Starting young
Zoo Keepers (7-13 years), influenced by Maroon 5, The Beatles and metal bands like Metallica, will perform their original composition titled The Zoo — inspired by their favourite animals. “During the song, we use dubstep as a dragon’s voice and classical for a dodo because we think it’s a dead genre,” the band recalls.

Zoo Keepers has Agastya Gummaraju (guitars), Taresh Vohra (guitar), Keya Gangoly (vocals), Isha Gangoly (bass) and Dev Chinnappa (drums), all set to belt out The Reason and Another Brick In The Wall.
The Apokalypse (9-12 years), are fans of U2, Sting, Taylor Swift and Adele with Rohan Mukherjee (guitar), Natasha Sagar (vocals), Nikita Sagar (vocals), Rohan Miles Mani (bass) and Ishan Chadha (drums). They are waiting to test their original composition ‘Gone Away’ on a live audience.

There is also plenty more in the line up — vocal solos and piano duets by the young artistes rounded off with a faculty performance.

6 pm onwards. At Alliance Francaise. Free entry through passesfrom Taaqademy. Details: 41115958

—Avinash Kumai

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