Focus: Arun Ghosh | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Arun Ghosh and I come all the way from sunny Bolton.

What is it you do?
I’m a musician; a clarinettist, bandleader and composer.

How long have you been doing it?
I’ve been playing music for nearly 40 years! I started playing the recorder at school and never wanted to stop…I loved it all, listening and playing. Playing anything I heard, TV themes like Coronation St and Only Fools and Horses, songs I heard on the radio, hymns, Bengali folk songs…made up my own tunes too…and that’s what I’m still doing today, and I’m very grateful for that.

What inspires you?
I just love music and vibes from across the world, and across all eras. So the music I make, I guess I just want to express myself, share how I feel about the world, communicate with anyone who’s listening! These are instrumental songs, no words, which is good for me, because it stays close to my heart…but the emotion is always there, that’s what I try to do when we play, and I feel that people get the meaning…whether the music is about love, passion, anger, nature, hope, grief, loss, loneliness, joy…whatever.

Tell us about your music.
For me, it’s all about melody and rhythm and emotion. Hypnotic beats with raw energy on the drums and these driving basslines…with my melodies on top. The tunes and the instrumentation are inspired by jazz, and my own cultural heritage too, which is Bengali and Sindhi music. So a lot of people know it as IndoJazz.

Universal folk styles is what I feel I love – I’m inspired by all the music I grew up around: rave, punk, indie, hip-hop, dub, jungle…and music from across the world. Ambient too…

I don’t attempt to recreate all that, of course – but I try and get the spirit of what those styles are about, and express that on stage. Because that’s the music I love. It’s spontaneous often, me and the saxophone blasting out these melodies, playing freewheeling solos, all the time the bass and drums are giving us that heartbeat. Other times, it’s pure and gentle and away with the fairies! Sometimes slow and heavy and brooding. I try and bring all of those vibes out of me and the band.

People associate this sound we make with the Jazz and World scenes, but it brings in people with so many interests, especially when we play around here, because people are so musically open, and I like to think they recognise that in the music we make.

What have you got coming up in the future?
There are plenty of gigs coming up across the country this Summer, and I’m also writing music for a Bengali film and some theatre shows. Coming up very soon in Gateshead on July 21st, we’re playing at The Sage as part of BBC Proms. It’s a late-night jazz double bill alongside Yazz Ahmed, who is a wonderful trumpet player. I can’t wait for it, it’s such an iconic venue, I’ve played here many times over the years…a fantastic sounding room, great team to work with and vibe in the house.

Where can people find out more about you?
You can hear all my 5 albums on Bandcamp under my name, Arun Ghosh: 

…And also on all the usual streaming platforms. But most important, come and see us at The Sage if you can, or tune in to Radio 2 from 10 pm on 21st July…it’s the place to be!

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