Anirudh Varma, a versatile musician from Delhi, has been profoundly shaped by a rich tapestry of musical influences that have contributed significantly to his distinctive musical style. Embarking on an artistic journey that involves reinterpreting classical ragas within a modern context, he established The Anirudh Varma Collective, a musical endeavor aimed at fusing a wide range of musical perspectives.
The Collective, led by the eponymous Anirudh Varma, is a group of exceptionally talented musicians hailing from all around the globe. Their music is a delightful amalgamation of Indian classical, jazz, funk, and electronic elements, creating a sound that defies easy categorization but is universally appealing.
Invited by Mausaki Bay Area, they will be performing in San Jose on October 7th accompanied by Bay Area stalwarts Geroge Brooks and Apoorva Deshpande. Shekhar Hemnani, Mausaki’s Founder and Creative Director has been a champion of artists for several years, “Celebrating the rich tapestry of local talent while keeping the spirit of good music alive is at the heart of our mission. We are dedicated to providing a platform that not only supports local artists but also ensures that exceptional music continues to resonate in our communities.”
Growing up in a family deeply passionate about music, Anirudh first explored the world of musical instruments at the age of six under the guidance of his musician-grandfather, S.N. Varma, playing the harmonium. This marked the beginning of his formal education in both Indian and Western classical music. In his later years, he received mentorship from Manas Majumdar.
Anirudh then pursued training as a pianist in Western classical music, honing his skills under the guidance of Hosie Palamkote, Ritesh Khokhar, and Lothunglo Mozhui. Following this early education and exposure to a wide array of musical genres, he harbored a strong desire to explore music in a manner that aligned with his personal artistic vision.
The Anirudh Varma Collective has an electrifying stage presence, as the ensemble takes the audience on a mesmerizing journey through diverse musical genres and traditions. The concerts usually start with a soul-stirring rendition of Indian classical music, showcasing the virtuosity of Anirudh Varma on the piano. His mastery of the instrument, combined with the collective’s impeccable rhythm section, provided the perfect foundation for the performance to evolve. The Collective seamlessly transitions from classical to jazz-inspired improvisations, sometimes adding a fusion of funk and electronic elements, creating a sense of spontaneity and fluidity.
Growing up, Anirudh was exposed to both formal concerts and informal baithaks at home, where he gained valuable insights into the intricacies of classical music presentations. One particular baithak, hosted by a senior Indian classical musician, left a lasting impression on him. During this event, he distinctly recalls how the younger members of the audience seemed disengaged and uninterested. This experience prompted him to reflect on the exclusive nature of classical music, which often restricts its accessibility and appreciation to a select, niche audience. “Our aim is to make Indian Classical Music more accessible to listeners across the world. To spread Indian Classical Music in a contemporary yet traditional format, making listeners and audiences across the world more curious about Hindustani music,” he explains.
Their music, characterized by its diversity and unity, reminds us of the universal language that music truly is—a language that knows no borders.
Venue: Stageone Creative Spaces
196 N 3rd St, San Jose, CA 95112
October 7, 2023, 7:00 PM – 8.:30 PM
Click here to get your tickets!