A heritage of 145 years cannot be undermined. Being the leading retailer of musical instruments in India, Furtados is a super-selling brand today. It is an institution in itself. So when they decided to throw open the doors of their new school of music, Score Magazine just HAD to be there to witness it.
Opening up into stark white interiors, a magnificent drum kit sat proudly opposite an array of eight metallic red electric guitars, suspended majestically on the wall. They seemed to shout, ‘Lo and behold! You’ve arrived at the academy of music!’
The original Furtados school of Music (henceforth, referred to as FSM) is located at down-town Napean Sea Road of Mumbai. Spread over 2 floors, this new school is located in Bandra, a prime suburb of Mumbai. This presents an opportunity of a lifetime to the suburbians.
Within a few moments of our arrival, the place was overflowing with well-wishers. Famous percussionist Sivamani and Grammy-award nominated jazz musician Louiz Banks were the chief guests for the evening. Being in the presence of the pioneer of jazz music in India can be quite overwhelming, but Louiz graciously spoke to us. Both, Louiz & Sivamani, shared their opinion of Furtados, but that’s for later (Stay tuned for our exclusive interview with these grand masters of music!).
The event started fashionably late since some of the guests, including Sivamani, were stuck in Mumbai’s crazy traffic. Nevertheless, the wait truly paid off. Dressed in his trademark black bandana and a Zildjian tee, Sivamani’s arrival kicked off the evening in style. Whilst cutting the red ribbon, he recited the guru mantra ‘Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu’. By lighting the diyas and scattering some flowers, Louiz and Sivamani officially declared the school open.
No one was prepared for what ensued. Only some are lucky to witness a live jugalbandi between Louiz Banks and Sivamani from a stone’s throw distance, and WE were amongst the lucky few. Louiz’ magical fingers swept through the alternating charcoal black and ivory white keys of the digital piano. Effortlessly complementing this, Sivamani struck his powerful beats to produce nothing short of brilliance. Louiz gave a chance to child prodigy Kashyap Iyengar to jam with Sivamani. At a tender age of 10, Kashyap has impressively cleared the grade 7 piano exam of Trinity College, London, and is all set to become a student of FSM. Along with Sivamani, he enthralled the guests with his soothing rendition of the popular song ‘Saadda Haq’ from the Imtiaz Ali movie “Rockstar“.
Next in line, we toured the place. As mentioned earlier, FSM is spread over two floors. The drum and guitar classes would be held on the ground floor, while the budding pianists would have to head over to the second floor. FSM offers the use of two Mapex drum kits and eight practice pads to the drummers. Similarly, the guitarists would be able to make use of around eight ESP guitars. As you ascend the stairs, you’re welcomed by a breathtaking montage of a piano alongside the steps. This eventually opens up into a huge room containing 12 state-of-the-art Yamaha Clavinova digital pianos.
With so many musical opportunities now all around me, and with the ever enthusiastic attitude of the Furtados family, I think I’m going to have to enroll at the academy. Wouldn’t you?
Photo Credits: Arnab Ghosal
Watch this space for an interview with Louiz Banks and Sivamani, and a bunch of exciting stuff.