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Review: Sax man Kadri Gopalnath blows away fans at festival finale

PUBLISHED: 10:35 25 November 2014 | UPDATED: 10:35 25 November 2014

Carnatic saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath playing at Redbridge Town Hall for the London International Arts Festival. Picture: Ajay Nair

Carnatic saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath playing at Redbridge Town Hall for the London International Arts Festival. Picture: Ajay Nair

Archant

Audiences watched in awe as a veteran saxophonist brought a music festival to a close.

Pioneering Indian classical musician Kadri Gopalnath headlined the last leg of this year’s London International Arts Festival (LIAF) at Redbridge Town Hall in High Road, Ilford.

Kadri, renowned for his use of saxophone in Indian classical music, delighted festival-goers during his set of intricately pieced together carnatic compositions – music from a sub-genre of Indian classical music.

The award-winning saxophone player, along with Ilford violinist Jyotsna Srikanth, percussionists Tanjvoor Govindarajan playing the thavil and RM Prakash playing the ghatam, gave a master class in the captivating carnatic sound.

The Ilford leg of the festival saw Kadri show off his versatility and technical prowess as he effortlessly moved from upbeat and fast-tempo tunes to more reflective and haunting pieces – music which both Indian classical buffs and those new to the music will be inspired by.

It was a rare treat to see the style of music being played on saxophone, something that is more than a novelty for Kadri – who has earned international acclaim for his work.

The technically challenging sound was apparent, with the complex rhythmic structures and melodic improvisation necessary to pull it off – the four musicians on the night made it seem easy.

The crowd were blown away by both Kadri and Jyotsna’s solo efforts, with the audience quick to show their appreciation as they clapped along to the music.

The highlight was listening to live music that was so different and original and to be able to listen to the accomplished sound of Kadri Gopalnath – the first ever carnatic musician to grace the Royal Albert Hall.

For more information on the festival visit liaf.co.uk

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