Mahindra Blues Festival (MBF): Helping promote Blues as a music genre to Indians

Mahindra Blues festival is now one of Asia’s largest Blues festival, bringing together some of the world’s best Blues musicians. The festival is held in Mumbai, India (usually in Jan/Feb).

The Mahindra Blues Festival returns to cast a spell on live-music-loving audiences once again, with highly acclaimed musicians from around the globe (as well as Indian Blues artists).

The Blues fest provides an immersive experience to the participants, and offers equal access both to a diverse audience, as well as blues bands from India and abroad. Any Blues Festival, especially if its in India, is incomplete without our very own (desi) Blues musicians.

The best part about this festival is that you get to see Blues musicians from all over the world, who bring in their own breed of the Blues, from various parts of the world.

Watch: Mahindra Blues Festival

So what exactly is Blues music?
Blues is a genre of music, and considered to be the basis for many more genres, including jazz and rock-n-roll. Blues used to be the melancholic music of black Americans, and years later, the urban blues gave rise to genres like rhythm and blues and rock and roll.

In terms of music theory, Blues music typically follows a a twelve-bar sequence (also known as the 12-bar blues).

Grammy Award-winning Bluesman and Texan legend ‘Jimmie Vaughan’, who was in Mumbai for the fourth edition of the Mahindra Blues Festival, says the old Bollywood hit songs from the 50s sound very similar to the Blues.

“The way the singers sing a phrase and then there is a period when they don’t sing and the music plays, you hear the beat, you hear the chord change and then they sing again and it builds and builds and builds-it’s all about the tension,” says Vaughan.

Watch: Bekarar Karke Hume Yun Na Jaiye – Hindi song sung by Hemant Kumar | Bees Saal Baad

Mumbai based MP Milind Deora, who makes it a point to attend the Mumbai Blues fest, is also an avid guitarist himself. He’s skilled enough to play some cool riffs on his guitar, and is said to unwind to Clapton and Cale, when he’s not performing his day jobs as Minister.

Milind Deora playing ‘I dont live today’ – Jimi Hendrix

You can say that the Mahindra Blues Festival is responsible for promoted Blues as a music genre to the Indian audiences. Its also partly responsible for the popularity of Blues in India, giving rise to several Blues Bands and smaller concerts and festivals in India.

Venue: Mehboob Studios, Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai, India