New Delhi (PTI): Jazz legend Herbie Hancock weaved his magic at "The Living Dream " concert here to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first visit of American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr to India.
As vocalists Chaka Khan and Dee Dee Bridgewater's powerful voices reverberated with "We shall Overcome," the high point of the evening was a jugalbandi by recent Grammy-winner Ustad Zakir Hussain on the tabla while Hancock and multi-Grammy winner George Duke glided over the piano here late Monday evening.
Martin Luther King III, the son of Martin Luther King Jr, who was present on the occasion said, "Music brings people together. In our tradition, the freedom tradition, if Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Junior were with us today they might not have told us that we shall overcome but may be in some degrees we have overcome."
"My father used to tell me that while he visits other countries as a tourist, when it comes to India, he visits the land as a pilgrimage. We share the tradition of freedom," he said.
Hancock is part of the official US delegation led by Martin Luther King III, which is retracing the steps of his parents - Martin Luther King, Jr and his wife Coretta Scott King in India, the land of the Mahatma Gandhi.
The jazz pianist, who is visiting India for the third time, said "It is a great pleasure to be in India again after 2006. And more so when we are celebrating the meeting of two great visionaries whose vision resulted in the first black President to America."
George Duke and Zakir Hussain got a resounding applause for the "Brazilian Love Affair" and Rythym and Blues Singer Chaka Khan, who has won the Grammy 10 times performed a special composition, "A night in New Delhi."
While the concert was inaugurated with Dr King's famous "I have a Dream" speech playing in the background it concluded with an attempt at a jazz version of "Raghupati Raghav" which went offkey and had Zakir Hussain singing along to help the musicians hit the right note for the 'bhajan,' which was considered to be the Mahatma's favourite.
Grammy winner jazz vocalist and UN Goodwill Ambassador Bridgewater dedicated the "Amazing Grace," a gospel number that she said "spanned many decades" to the "memory of Martin Luther King, Jr and Gandhi," a celebration of two of the most important men in the 20th century who were responsible for changing the cultures.
The select audience comprised among others Pandit Ravi Shankar whose Institute of the Performing Arts students would exchange lessons with musicians from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, one of the co-organisers of the concert.
The concert featuring Hancock and others presented by the ICCR would also perform in Chennai. Sphere: Related Content