Dhani Muniz’s ‘Chimu Fiesta’ is billed as an album ‘bred out of dissatisfaction and a healthy dose of anger’

Article by Dinesh Varma published in The Hindu

Jazz, in a sense, is a back and forth with the world, says Auroville-based jazz musician Dhani Muniz, who has come out with a debut jazz album featuring leading artists who have performed widely on music circuits across the U.S. and Europe besides India.

A guitarist, singer, writer and composer born in Albany, New York, and now settled in the universal township where he covers the art scene for an in-house journal, Muniz’s ‘Chimu Fiesta’ has been billed as an album ‘bred out of dissatisfaction and a healthy dose of anger’.

Chimu is a reference to a pre-Incan civilisation now famed for, among other things, the intrinsic violence of their culture. And, the music is a signifier of a certain type of creative violence, one that is most often palpable in the early stages of things — abstract art, modern classical music, rock n’ roll, Delta blues, jazz, and basically all human civilisation.

“Jazz is a give and take with the world”, he says. “Why are so many current jazz musicians so interested not only in hip-hop culture, but in the culture of Africa, of this idea of returning to something more natural, more holistic? It’s a reaction to what they feel in the world”.

The debut album was a product of his collaborative music project “Suite; The Expatriate” and featured a quintet of composer-musicians Jules Arindam, a city-born graduate of the Los Angeles Music Academy on bass, pianist-composer Aman Mahajan, Suresh Bascara, a French-Indian percussionist from Auroville, and Dutch-born Maarten Visser on tenor and soprano saxophone.