Issue 74 - 19th July, 2012

Celebrated Dutch trumpeter Eric Vloeimans was in India recently and performed at the Blue Frog, Mumbai on June 14, 2012 to rapturous applause. Connect caught up with the four-time recipient of the Edison Award (the highest award for music in Holland) and winner of the top Dutch jazz award, the VPRO/Boy Edgar Award:

Please tell us about your unique brand of music and which genre you represent? What do you wish to convey in your music?
To be honest, I don’t claim to represent any genre of music – I am a trumpet player, whether it be jazz, classical, pop, world, lounge, crossover, fusion, whatever! – It doesn’t really matter to me! My music comes from the heart, and that doesn’t have any label.
Is your performance in the Blue Frog, Mumbai your first in India? What attracted you to come to India?
No, I’ve been to India before, back in November 2009 – we played in New Delhi then at the International House, and also in Mumbai at the Blue Frog, so I am very happy to have been invited back.
How was the experience and the audience response at the event?
This time in India I performed at the Blue Frog clubs in Mumbai and New Delhi, but also at the Taj Club House in Chennai and the Casino Hotel in Kochi. The audiences were very cordial at both, but the most overwhelming response was at the schools we performed for in Kochi for disabled children.
What are your views on Indian Music and who are your favorites? Are there any collaborations planned in the future with Indian masters of music?
Indian music is fascinating to me – the rhythmical intricacies and tonal ambiguity are riveting. I’ve performed with Sandip Bhattacharya in the past and that was certainly a treat. I’m looking forward to future collaborations with other Indian masters – I am open to suggestions!
What are the similarities and differences in Indian and Dutch music?
Well, all music is rhythm and melody and harmony – the differences are in the ‘spices’ – like recipes for exquisite meal. You could say that music from Holland is as far away from music from India as hutspot is to thali, yet both are nourishing and humane. And I love them both!
Any parting thoughts on your India experience.
India can be quite confrontational in that the gap between the extremely wealthy and the very poor is so enormous and so obvious. But at the end of the day we are all human beings. For me the visits to India have been eye-opening, and ear-opening. It’s been a marvelous experience and I am grateful that I was able to play my music for the ‘well-heeled’ as well as those stricken with disabilities. It’s a vibrant and exciting country and I can’t wait to come back. There is an air of improvisation here…which is inspirational, and certainly for me as a musician.
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