NeckarGanga

English Version (Bandinfo)

In February 2014, Peter Hinz (percussion) and Steffen Dix (saxophone) travelled together to India for the first time. They took lessons in Indian classical music at the “International Music Centre Ashram” in Varanasi, one of the oldest cities of the world as well as one of the music capitals of India. Peter’s relationship with India and Keshav Rao Nayak – tabla master of the ashram – began years before on his first trip to India when they met and he became his guru and teacher of tabla. It is with his son, Sandip Rao Kewale (tabla) and the young sitar master, Shyam Rastogi that the two German musicians created “NeckarGanga” on the banks of the Ganges. The complete band, including the double bass player Jonathan Sell, met in July 2015 in Mannheim. Through the support of the city of Mannheim and the Oriental Music Academy of Mannheim the band could prepare their concert program and present their first live concerts in Germany. In July 2016 NeckarGanga released their first Album entitled „innaad“ and toured throughout Germany and Switzerland. The band is staying busy in 2017 with two concerts in India at the end of February and another European tour planned for June and July.

Biography

NeckarGanga for us, is not just a band project but family. For me personally, it is a dream to accompany such masters of music. Steffen Dix the saxophonist and Shyam Rastogi the Sitar player, are responsible for the extraordinary compositions of NeckarGanga. They are both incredible virtuosos with great spirit. We all met in Varanasi three years ago when Steffen decided to accompany me to my tabla Guru Keshvav Rao Nayak in his music ashram in Varanasi India, to learn more about Indian classical music. There, Steffen took lessons in Indian classical melodies and rhythm structures from Shyam, the nephew of my Guru. After a couple of weeks, I was impressed to see his development and the reactions of the musicians of the house.

During that time we had our first musical encounter with Shyam and Sandeep, who is also an incredible tabla player and the son of Keshvav, we decided to play our first concert. After this experience, it was clear that we should keep going, growing and investing in this magical energy that we call music.

When we came back to Germany, we organized with the help of the City of Mannheim, a rehearsal time of 10 days for the summer of 2015, where we could create our concert program. For this particular occasion, a double bass player named Jonathan Sell joined us and became the column of NeckarGanga, establishing the jazz harmony in the superb melodical Indian classical music.

On the 11th of July 2015, we had our first concert in the Oriental Music Academy in Mannheim. The feedback we received gave us the motivation to take our band a step further and record in February 2016 our first album in the Mahadev studio in Varanasi. For the recording, we had the honour of having an amazing guest from Turkey, Güldeste Mamac (violin) as well as Keshava (tabla).

In addition to this, we had an exciting open air concert with approximately 1500 spectators at the Assi Ghat in front of the Ganges. The response of the Indian audience was over powering!

– Peter (percussionist)

German Version (Bandinfo)

Im Februar 2014 reisten die beiden Mannheimer Musiker Peter Hinz (percussion) und Steffen Dix (saxophon) gemeinsam nach Indien. In Varanasi, eine der ältesten Städte der Welt und eine der Hauptstädte der Musik Indiens, nahmen sie Unterricht in indisch klassischer Musik am „International Music Center Ashram“. Für Peter Hinz war es bereits der 4. Aufenthalt dort. Ihn verbindet eine langjährige Freundschaft mit Keshava Rao Nayak – dem Tabla Meister des Ashram. Mit dessen Sohn Sandip Rao Kewale (tabla) und dem jungen Sitar Meister Shyam Rastogi gründeten sie in der Stadt am Ganges das Projekt: „NeckarGanga“. Hier vereinen sich die sehr unterschiedlichen Einflüsse der einzelnen Musiker zu einem Klang, der sich spielerisch über alle Unterschiede und Grenzen hinwegsetzt.

Im Juli 2015 trafen sich „NeckarGanga“ in Deutschland. Unterstützt durch die Stadt Mannheim und die Orientalische Musikakademie Mannheim konnte das Projekt vertieft werden und gab den Musikern Gelegenheit gemeinsam ein Konzertprogramm zu erarbeiten und dieses live zu präsentieren.

Zu diesem Zeitpunkt stieß Jonathan Sell (Kontrabass) zu der Band dazu.

Die Kompositionen aus dieser Schaffensphase wurden im Februar 2016 in Indien aufgenommen als sich NeckarGanga für eine Studiosession in Varanasi trafen.  Anschließend konnte die Band ihr erstes größeres Live-Konzert vor 1500 Besuchern am Ufer des Ganges spielen.

Das Debut Album “Innaad” wurde am 16. Juli 2016 im Rahmen einer Release Tour Deutschland und die Schweiz veröffentlicht. Im Februar 2017 traf sich die Band erneut in Varanasi um zwei Konzerte zu spielen. Im Juni und Juli werden sie sich auf eine vier-wöchige Tour durch Europa begeben.

Members/Besetzung 

Keshava Rao Nayak – tabla
Steffen Dix – saxophon
Shyam Rastogi – sitar
Jonathan Sell – Kontrabass
Sandip Rao Kewale – tabla
Peter Hinz – percussion

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