Chill out Jazz musician Praful embodies his music

In a live performance at the Love 94 Jazz Harvest festival, it is clear that multicultural jazz musician Praful has created some of the most dynamic, intriguing music in recent times. Translating hits from his chart-topping debut album, One Day Deep, he invites South Florida into his musical world.

“Close your eyes and go on a journey with me,” Praful says.

And it truly is a journey. When it comes to composing music, Praful is a rarity. For him, it goes beyond just sound-his being a majestic fusion of endless styles including electronica, smooth jazz, samba and funk. For him, music is a profoundly spiritual experience-“the language of the heart.”

“I just love music, it can express anything you can’t really touch with words,” says Praful. “Music has that magic. It reaches you directly and bypasses the mind.”

One Day Deep is a testament to that. Grounding its roots in chill-style music, the virtuoso offers an enticing melting pot involving sexy saxophones, djembes, Indian flutes, tables and congas. Layered beneath all this is the constant pound of dance beats and drum loops, adding a rare modern flare to a uniquely global sound. Working with producers Adani and Wolf, Praful created infectious songs like “Inspircao” and his smooth, groovy hit “Sigh.”

“I wanted to make something with a chill lounge vibe, but with a personality,” he says. “[So] within the music I need to explore different directions so it stays fresh. If you want to have more impact, you have to look into [music]deeper,” says Praful.

His album is not only a blend of seemingly mismatched musical styles, but also of his exposure to various cultures.

Praful began studying jazz music in 1987 in Amsterdam’s School of Arts. After learning the saxophone and flute, he traveled India and Brazil, where he found inspiration in their distinct cultural music. He was later exposed to Latin and African music as well.

“You start off with something, but as you progress, the deeper meaning changes. Music can touch something deeply spiritual,” says Praful.

Watching him at the Jazz Harvest did just that. Taking advantage of the live feel, which he says makes the music more dynamic and wild, he grooved through his set with smooth grace, performing amazing renditions of tunes like “Sonhar” and “Teardrop Butterfly.” He also played a few new songs, which are currently in the works for a new album due out next year, he says.

But what really makes Praful stand out throughout his songs is the way he embodies the music, not as though it is an extension of the album, but as though it is an extension of himself. According to Praful, the music is an extension of him self.

“Music is a way to be total,” he says. “There’s no separation between me doing something and the music being played. It’s incredibly refreshing.”

Rafael Sangiovanni can be contacted at r.sangiovanni@umiami.edu.

October 19, 2004


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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