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    Anil Srinivasan, Usha Uthup and others unite for an evening of music and charity.

    Event management company Ace Events seems to have nailed it with its choice of musicians for Rock N Roll Chennai, a concert celebrating the spirit of the city and raising funds for post-flood relief. Singer Usha Uthup may not be a resident, but she proudly wears Madras—as she calls the city—on her sleeve, having made a statement all her life with her kanjeevaram saris and malli poo. Pianist Anil Srinivasan, who is collaborating with her for the first time, is another art ambassador of the city—giving its classical music a new dimension with a grand piano.
    Bond over this
    When the duo ascends the stage tomorrow, Chennai will take the spotlight. “This is a concert celebrating the city. I’m doing a segment on the music of Madras over the decades, from Papanasam Sivan and MS Visvanathan to Ilayaraja, AR Rahman and GV Prakash,” explains Srinivasan.
    Kolkata-based Uthup says she will sing anything the people want her to. It was here in the city after all, that her career in music started in 1969. Not to forget that she has family here and fondly recalls visiting relatives in Mylapore and Saidapet. “The concert will be a mixed bag, and will be purely demand-based,” explains the 68-year-old performer. “One of my popular recent hits is Adele’s Skyfall. Incidentally, when I started singing in the city, in 1969, James Bond songs were heavy on my repertoire, be it Diamonds are Forever, You only Live Twice or Thunderball.” Forty five years later, she still finds herself singing Bond songs. “I will be singing Skyfall in Madras, too, besides a few of my Hindi, Tamil and Punjabi hits” says Uthup, who recently sung and performed a number in Farhan Akhthar’s upcoming film, Rock On 2.
    Comic relief
    Hoping to accompany her in Skyfall is Srinivasan. “She’s a great icon and I’m sure she is on everybody’s wish list. I’m looking forward to working with her,” says the 38-year-old. The event will also include a segment by popular comedian Chinni Jayanth, who will be singing accompanied by Saindhavi. Part of the proceeds will go towards building a school in Urapakkam for those affected by the floods, an initiative by Rotary Club of Madras. “More than 8,000 families were displaced. A 14-classroom school for classes VI- X is being planned,” concludes Srinivasan.
    Tomorrow, at The Music Academy, at 6.30 pm. Rs 500-Rs 2,000. Details: in.bookmyshow.com

    —Sharadha Narayanan

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