Mystique concert in Delhi: A show-stopper | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 28, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 28, 2009

Mystique concert in Delhi: A show-stopper

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The band, Mystique, performs instrumental pieces from India, Iran, Turkey, the Middle East, near East and Eastern Europe.

The band 'Mystique' truly lived up to its name. Bringing together, among others, exotic percussion music, 'ney' (Iranian flute), 'santoor,' 'tombek' and 'def' (both Iranian percussion instruments), 'Sephardic' music along with the 'bansuri,' electric guitar, violin, 'saaz' and 'rebab' it was an evening that lingered in the memory.
The show opened with a 'ney' solo, ably rendered by Andrey Demidenko, who also played the 'santoor,' 'tombek' and 'def.' Then followed Neo Yusuf, a slow song, played by the whole band. Among the other show-stoppers were "Japong," a song from the group's first CD and a rendering of 'def' and 'darbouka' (Egptian percussion) by Suchet Malhotra.
Also in the spotlight were special guest Anna Hoffman, who sung songs in the 'Sephardic' tradition (Jewish gypsy music from Spain) and Rajesh Prasanna, a superb 'bansuri' player.
A mellifluous instrumentalist, the 22-year-old Rajesh Prasanna entranced the audience with his 'bansuri.' Belying his young age, he is already a seasoned performer and described as “versatile, virtuoso and very down to earth.”
Mystique's core members are Gennady Lavrentyev (violin, guitar), Lionel Dentan ('saaz,' 'rebab') and Malhotra. Definitely centre stage was Suchet Malhotra on percussion. Trained in Hindustani vocal music and 'tabla,' with two years of western band music (bugle, trumpet, jazz and march drums), he has avidly learnt to play the 'darbouka' from Egypt, the 'duembe' from Ghana, the NGA from Tibet, the 'cajon' from Peru and many others.
The credit for the unforgettable concert must go to Mystique, which performs instrumental pieces from India, Iran, Turkey, the Middle East, near East and Eastern Europe.
Each of the musicians has a distinctive touch -- be it Hindustani and folk to western classical and jazz. Having performed in Pakistan, Spain and Switzerland, Mystique is at the cutting edge of fusion. For their gigs, musicians from India and elsewhere, often augment the core group of Mystique (who are also part of another band called 'Da Saz' that plays electro- acoustic Sufiana music).
Mystique's CD, "Melodies of the Orient," showcases the superb talent of eight musicians.

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