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Dhevdhas Nair

I grew up listening to a wide variety of music. My mother, who was Indian, loved Beethoven Bach and Mozart, my dad who was English, was into Wagner, Bach, the Beatles, and Indian classical music. When I was a kid he used to take me to the all night Indian music concerts at the Albert Hall in London which had a big effect on me. Not just absorbing the form of the music, which starts slowly without rhythm, drawing you in in a psychologically expert way, and the virtuosity of the playing, but also observing the unique atmosphere in the hall, the relaxed but focused attention of the audience. As a teenager I got into Rock, reggae, ska and African music and eventually spent a lot of my early musical experience playing with African bands in Sudan, Southern Africa and Paris. After being continuously on the road in Europe and Africa for over a decade, I needed a break, and came back to England to study Indian music and jazz, and have expressed all these forms and cultures in my writing and playing ever since, although it must be said that this is a largely unconscious process, driven by instinct and the need to express inner states through the forms I have inherited by chance, history and inclination. What I do now comes under the heading of jazz, I guess, though I’m sometimes reluctant to pin it down to one description. My album Inbetween and Passing displays all these influences, a mixture of African, jazz, Latin, and even classical and folk, yet somehow it all seems to hang together, and does represent my life’s musical journey so far

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