On Saturday, October 20, The Berklee India Ensemble performed at Keene State College.
The Berklee India Ensemble, originally formed from a class at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, embarked on their first tour around the East coast. After several performances around New England, they concluded with their final performance at KSC’s Redfern Arts Center.
The group of fourteen musicians shared their musical styles throughout the two hours, with a wide variety of instruments including piano, traditional Indian keblar drums, as well as varying smaller percussive instruments, flute, synthesizer, a drum set, electric guitar and bass. The group also showcased a handful of talented singers.
With some of the pieces, konnakol was used — a type of scat singing that focuses more on rhythm than pitch.
As noted by a couple who attended the show, “It was very interesting to watch, and [enjoyable] to join in clapping and dancing. I would most definitely pay to see them again.”
During the performance, the audience was able to hear covers of songs, new interpretations and even a sample of their sixteen original pieces. The Berklee India Ensemble was initially created in 2011 by a group of classmates, and since has welcomed new members as some move on from the group.
The current ensemble includes two members who are currently students at the Berklee College of Music.
While this group has been playing for seven years, this is only their first tour. They perform in Boston most often, and will be performing there in December. Post performance, singer and experienced percussionist Rohith Jayaraman gave some insight to how the group operates, saying that everyone brings something new. “This is our first time on tour, and we can’t wait to tour again. It’s been a great experience and I’m glad to share it with friends. Keene has been amazing, and hopefully we can come back,” said Jayaraman.
According to Jayaraman, each member shares a strong, deep-rooted loved for music.
When the group comes together, they seemingly build on each others passion, and thus make a high energy, “dancing like nobody’s watching” kind of show.
Gwen Phillips can be contacted at