UPES Sways to American Bluegrass
The crowd at Bidholi Campus cheered as The Bluegrass Journeymen belted out their peppy compositions, including some popular Bengali songs and romantic Bollywood hits
The University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun, hosted American band The Bluegrass Journeymen (TBJ) for a performance at its Bidholi campus on March 3, 2020. The event was organized in collaboration with the US Embassy in India.
Besides their regular tracks, the eight-piece band also sang Bengali Bluegrass songs. Their infectious music held the audience in thrall as the band’s lead Patrick Fitzsimons belted out a Bluegrass version of Shah Rukh Khan’s iconic romantic song ‘Tujhe Dekha To Ye Jaana Sanam’ from his magnum hit Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). The crowd also got to enjoy country, old time, jazz, swing and plenty of other influences blended in their tunes.
The band line-up included the band’s founder Patrick Fitzsimons on the mandolin and vocals, Billy Cardine on the Dobro Resonator Slide Guitar, Shaun Nicklin on the banjo and vocals, Andrew Conley on the cello, Coleman Smith on the violin/fiddle, Summers Baker on the guitar and vocals, and Jean-Luc Davis on the bass. Also accompanying the band was Kolkata-based artist Nabanita Sarkar on the Ukulele and vocals, and the band’s manager Elliot Siff.
Bluegrass music has roots in traditional English, Scottish and Irish ballads and dance tunes, and African-American blues and jazz. It was developed in the 1940s in the United States region. This genre derives its name from the band Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys. Instruments like banjo, mandolin and fiddle are an integral part of the Bluegrass genre.
The Bluegrass Journeymen is a collective of musicians from and around Denver, Colorado, with an aim to present traditional American Bluegrass Music to the world. They visited UPES as part of the US Embassy’s ‘Building Bridges through Bluegrass’ initiative.
The Embassy delegation was led by Catherine Fischer, Public Diplomacy Officer for the Embassy’s North India Office, and her colleague Robin Bansal, Cultural Affairs Specialist with the same office.
The event concluded with a vote of thanks by (Prof.) Dr. Ajay Prasad, Head of Computer Applications, School of Computer Science, UPES.