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Trilok Gurtu


Trilok Gurtu was born into a highly musical family in Bombay, India where his grandfather was a noted Sitar player and his mother Shobha Gurtu, a classical singing star and constant influence. He began to play practically from infancy at the age of six. Eventually Trilok traveled to Europe, joining up with trumpeter Don Cherry (father of Neneh and Eagle Eye) for two years. From 1984 until 1988 Trilok toured the world with Oregon, the highly respected jazz group and was an important part of the quartet that L. Shankar led with Jan Garbarek and Zakir Hussain.

In 1988 Trilok performed at European Festivals with his own group, finally being able to present his compositions on the debut album "Usfret" which many musicians claim as an important influence; young Asian musicians from London like Talvin Singh, Asian Dub Foundation and Nitin Sawhney see him as a mentor and so Trilok's work finds its way onto the turntables at the hottest dance clubs 10 years later.
But back in 1988 Trilok met The Mahavishnu Orchestra and its leader, John McLaughlin. He suggested they play together. For the next four years Trilok played an integral part in the John McLaughlin Trio, cutting two albums and playing alongside John as the featured soloist on all their enormously successful tours across the world. Trilok's unique instrumentation and singing became an important focus in that group's set; "when John and Trilok trade licks the audience is inevitably drawn to such a climax that encore follows encore", as New York audiences know well from their Blue Note club appearances. The classical performers Katia & Marielle Labeque invited Trilok to accompany them in their piano duets on their Japanese and Australian Tours during this period. As a result classical audiences had a rare treat!

The summer of 1993 saw a flurry of activity, Trilok toured his own trio in support of the album named The Crazy Saints, which featured not only Joe Zawinul but also Pat Metheny. Audiences were enthralled by his compositions that linked subtle Indian rhythms and Indian singing with elements of modern jazz and rock. The following year the band was expanded to a quartet and touring extended to include a US coast-to-coast tour and 40+ European shows. Unanimous approval from audiences took the form of standing ovations which often followed one after another at the same concert.

Work began in May 2000 on "The Beat Of Love", Trilok's World Music release which was composed in part by Chris Difford from Squeeze. Wally Badarou, the renowned African producer from Benin and most well known for his work with Level 42, produced the album released by Universal in 2001.

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