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Posted at: Feb 11, 2018, 12:54 AM; last updated: Feb 11, 2018, 12:54 AM (IST)

A master trumpeter’s passage to India

Erik Truffaz says the Indian audience is very dynamic
A master trumpeter’s  passage to India

Saurabh Chadha

Erik Truffaz is a globally acclaimed French jazz trumpeter who infuses elements of hip-hop, rock and roll and dance music into his compositions. Truffaz gained international attention with his second album on the prestigious Blue Note, The Dawn, produced together with Patrick Muller, Marcello Giuliani and Mark Erbetta. Since then, they have produced many Blue Note albums together such as Bending New Corners, which became a Silver Album in France. Truffaz has had a strong link with India since 2008 when a residency in Calcutta gave him the opportunity to work on and record a full repertoire with two traditional musicians, eventually leading to an international tour and the album Benaras.

Truffaz was recently in India as a part of the third edition of Bonjour India, a four-month mega voyage across India that celebrated Indo-French partnership as well as shape the next decade of human exchange between the two countries. The journey covered 100 projects in 33 cities across 20 states and union territories, providing a platform for enduring partnerships across the themes of Smart Citizen, High Mobility, Go Green. 

First of all, how did the trumpet come into your life?

My father was a saxophonist. I would play with him when I was a kid. He influenced me a lot to take up music as a career.

You have widened the sound of jazz by infusing hip-hop, rock and roll and dance music to your compositions. How did that happen?

I always enjoyed fusing jazz and other music genres. Jazz has no borders and fusion with different music genres gives a new dimension to it.

What makes you travel with your music to India and how has the response been?

I love performing in India; the audience here is very careful and dynamic.

Who have been your idols in the jazz industry?

Today, I absolutely love Tigran Hamasyan, Ian Garbareck, Don Cherry. These are musicians with no boundaries.

Your album Blue Note left a big mark in the jazz industry.

The success from the album brought me worldwide fame and gave me the opportunity to develop many collaborations, like this project in India.

You have teamed up with many artists from different genres and countries. How do you feel the connect?

Music is like love. When it’s honest, it’s strong and deep.

Where do we see Erik Truffaz go from here?

There is a lot on the cards. After India, I’m going to Germany, Russia and Haiti. I go where I can. I follow my instinct, by collaborating with fantastic musicians and sometimes I get excellent recommendations by people from the industry, like Emmanuelle de Decker.

How important is improvisation in your collaboration? 

I love the mix between organisation and improvisation. It’s a subtle mix that helps the music to stay alive.

Your daughter Nina Truffaz has followed in your footsteps. How do you guide her? 

I let her follow her heart and her instinct. For the moment, she plays in a rock band and studies biology. My younger daughter, Eline, wants to only play music and she’s dedicated to classical singing.

What have you planned for India next?

I’d like to come back and tour with Louiz Banks and with these young musicians like Riatsu. This band has a huge potential and there’s still lots to explore.

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