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Rainer & The Usual Suspects

The Piano Man Jazz Club
Event organized by The Piano Man Jazz Club

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About Rainer Pusch:

As an international and renowned saxophonist, arranger and composer, Rainer Pusch has always been interested in trying out new kinds of music. His spectrum ranges from a jazz background obtained during his studies with George Coleman, Jerry Bergonzi, at the Berklee College of Music (Boston) to various performances with jazz, funk, latin and pop bands over the years. He has worked under many others, namely Art Farmer, Horace Parlan, John Betsch, Pony Poindexter.

Besides his studies in Carnatic music, taking vocal lessons from S. Rajaram, director and teacher of the Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts, Chennai, Madurai G. S. Mani and Selva Ganesh, Rainer Pusch's manifold interests brought him to collaborate repeatedly with many famed Indian musicians such as the Mumbai based guitarists Keith and Karl Peters, with Louis Banks, Dr. Mysore Manjunath, Sanjay Divecha and Ranjit Barot within the scope of Jazz and Indo-Jazz Fusion projects. Further collaborations included recordings with A.R. Rahman and Ramnath Gopalnat as well as many gigs with Ganesh Kumar, Selva Ganesh, Dr. Balamuralikrishnan, and Amit Heri, Manickam Yogeswaran.

About The Usual Suspects:

Smiti Malik : Voice
Smiti Malik is the vocalist of Delhi-based band Kitchensink. She is trained in Hindustani as well as Western vocal styles, and draws inspiration as a singer and songwriter from Jazz and Blues as well as Contemporary Folk music. Also a session musician, she has shared the stage with artists like The Aditya Balani Group and Nishad Pandey, and is one half of 'Chayan and Smiti', an all acoustic set-up that she shares with vocalist and songwriter Chayan Adhikari.

Rythem Bansal: Piano
Rythem Bansal is a professional Pianist and music Educator based in New Delhi. He has been studying his instrument for six years, and earned his Trinity Guildhall Grade 8 Certification in his third year. Following that, he has studied several diverse forms of music, such as jazz, funk, pop, and latin. During this time, he was an active part of his school's music society, winning them numerous competitions. He is a former student of legendary Delhi pianist John Raphael and international virtuoso Utsav Lal, and has studied extensively under Canadian jazz pianist Jacob Damelin.

He finds himself drawn to jazz music due to its emphasis on improvisation, which he believes allows musicians to be more creative and expressive. It's his belief that playing jazz is important to musicians of any genre, as it opens up their aural abilities and encourages them to develop musical maturity.

Ekaterina Aristova : Doublebass/Bass Guitar
Based in Delhi doublebass/bass guitar player, originally from Saint-Petersburg, Russia, Ekaterina finished music school as a classical piano player. She then graduated from the M. P. Musorgsky's Saint-Petersburg State Music College as a doublebass/bass guitar player and music teacher, and high-graduated from Saint-Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts as a jazz performer on a doublebass/bass guitar, participant/leader of modern music/jazz bands and orchestras, and music teacher of modern music and jazz. She has also learnt art of improvising, arrangement and performing with jazz orchestras in special workshops in Bayerisch Musikakademy, Marktoberdorf, Germany and has trained in the theory of jazz music and improvising at the workshops of the legendary American piano player Barry Harris.

In 2003 Ekaterina started her career as a full-time bass player in Saint-Petersburg and became an official bass player of the oldest Russian jazz club Kvadrat. In 2013 she began to learn Indian classical music (tabla, vocal) from Ustad Gulfam Sabri Khan at the Indian Embassy in Moscow. From that time on, as a permanent participant of his group in collaboration with the Indian Embassy, she took part in many concerts, festivals and workshops in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and other Russian cities. In 2016 she got an ICCR scholarship to learn Indian classical music and tabla at the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya and moved to Delhi where she regularly performs with different musicians in the Delhi music scene.

Sava Boyadzhiev : Drums
Sava Boyadzhiev is a Bulgarian drummer, percussionist, timpanist, sessions musician and educator. During his 20 year long career as a successful sessions player, Sava has played the most prestigious venues and festivals in 25 countries and across 4 continents. While studying classical music in Bulgaria, Sava discovered Jazz and soon became the most sought after drummers there playing with the best in the country. During his tenure with the New Symphony Orchestra he accompanied Vanessa Mae, Joshua Bell, Stanimir Torodov, Electric Light Orchestra, Liviu Prunaru and performed under some world renowned conductors.

He soon moved to the United States where, during his times as the house drummer in Tarpon Springs, Florida, he accompanied the likes of Chick Corea, Jeff Berlin, Roy Hargrove and Charlie Hunter. Now in India, Sava is a music educator, sessions player and band leader. He got nominated for the Best Drummer for his work on ‘Adil & Vasundhara’s album AMPERSAND at the Jack Daniel’s Rock Awards 2013. Sava continues his journey as a well loved sessions player in the country and a successful band leader as well.