HWMF-concert with Adrian D'Souza Jazz Quartet - 6th May @ Secunderabad Club. Opening Act: Deccan Voices

Concert video: Deccan Voices


Concert video: Adrian D'souza Jazz Quartet


Short clip:


Press coverage:

Serenade music magazine Delhi


Write-up in “The Hindu”


Review by Pratap Antony for HWMF





     What a good time we had! Yes, we really had good time, a great time actually. It was a delight to hear some superb, ‘straight ahead’ jazz music - music that was not influenced by any sort of fusion, rock oriented beats or heavy electronic effects, but Jazz in its most elemental form: jazz standards, swinging rhythms, bossa nova, and the blues.

     And responsible for giving us such a good time was the Adrian D’Souza Quartet comprising Adrian D’Souza on Drums, Karan Joseph on Keyboard and bass, Lydia Hendrikje Hornung, Vocals, and Pawan Benjamin on Tenor saxophone. 

     But before these strong and inventive musicians came on stage and put a brand new spin on some of the old Jazz standards with mainstream jazz, Latin music and blues ballads, the evening began with a performance of a few songs by a local eleven member vocal ensemble the ‘Deccan Voices’.

      The Deccan Voices began with a rendition of an old Duke Ellington jazz standard ‘I’m Beginning to See the Light’. A pop song by Toto, ‘Africa’. A hymn, ‘All Things bright and Beautiful’, and a choral version of ‘Take 5’, the eleven singer choral ensemble ended with ‘Balleilaka’ a Tamil song by AR Rehman. The ‘Deccan Voices’ looked like they were enjoying themselves and dealt with the rhythms and harmonies well. All-in-all a good performance!

      Let’s get back to the main event, and the music and the musicians of the Adrian D’Souza Quartet .

     Though the leader of the band is the main protagonist; with Adrian on drums it is an ensemble cast with every musician playing their part. Adrian’s lightly swinging drumming is spare and elegant, and sometimes quite rambunctious as the tune needs, but Adrian’s drumming is always in good taste, with a refined emotional sensitivity to the feeling of the song.  Yet Adrian does steer, guide and support by listening and responding.

     Lydia Hendrikje Hornung, has a light, jazz soaked, crystalline tone of voice that is sweet and flexible, textured emotionally strong. Most of all she is so refreshingly easy to listen to. She demonstrated super vocal control, elasticity and command in the vocal twists and nuances when she improvised. Generally an insightful, able and classy singer.

    Karan Joseph on the keyboard is the backbone of the quartet. Karan is a  resourceful, very expressive keyboard player, sometimes a powerhouse; who cuts loose, opening up free-flying improvisation, sometimes quiet and sensitive,

hunched in concentration, sometimes head-back and smiling, neck stretching with bird-like movements, always maintaining an inventive but steady bass with his left hand.

    Pawan Benjamin, what can one say about this tall, thin, long haired young Tenor saxophone player, who plays such touching, tender, and sometimes such blazing solo’s; his saxophone sounding like a thoughtful voice as though he was thinking through his solos, with every phrase always connecting to the other and being completely meaningful.

     The audience saw the inner enjoyment that the musicians felt while the Quartet  played, not the overt show of rock musicians, but simple smiles of pleasure when the musicians  heard one of them or the other playing a passage that that they had just created, and which grew wings and soared away, whether it was the singer singing an emotional passage or the keyboardist playing a piquant passage, or the saxophone saying something so meaningful, or the drummer playing an appropriate solo, it was the pleasure of the musicians bringing out the best in each other, and giving pleasure to the audience at the same time.

     Whether the Adrian D’Souza Quartet played a beautifully put together slow blues, or a Brazilian samba, or a ballad or a jazz standard like Tenderly, or ‘East of the Sun’, or ‘Speak Low’, or the beautifully rendered ‘Moonlight in Vermont’, or a Wayne Shorter classic, the music was about joy. It was music played for everyone to enjoy. It was not music played for musicians. It was music that was completely accessible, completely understandable, completely empathetic. it was music that left the audience feeling good and elated. This was without doubt, the best Jazz show that the twin-cities have seen in the last two years.


And for this pleasure we must thank The Secunderabad Club, Bharati Cement, The Hyderabad Western Music Foundation and Goethe Zentrum. Review by Pratap Antony.





 Adrian D’souza Quartet

Through his colorful interactive style with musicians on the bandstand, Adrian D’souza has created texture for a veritable 'who's who' in the jazz world: Roseanna Vitro, Chieli Minucci, Art Davis, Eddie Gomez, Joe Temperly, Ken Werner, Ratzo Harris, Gary Bartz, John Hicks, Eddie Daniels, Ed Cherry, Mark Soskin, Dave Kikoski, Don Braden, Gerald Veasley, Paul Keller, Chuck Bergeron, Jerry Brooks, Ron Jackson, Bruce Arnold, Shelly Berg, Jay Rodrigues Carl Clements and Mike Orta. Adrian played with Al Jarreau, George Duke, Earl Klugh and Ravi Coltrane at the Vh1 Jazz Masters, and performed in Slovenia with the 'Maribor Philharmonic Orchestra' featuring Roseanna Vitro. He was invited by the 'World Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra and big band' to perform in South Africa for the United Nations - World Summit on Sustainable Development. Adrian D'souza has studied and played in New York with many musicians, developing his ability to play in multiple styles of music.  Adrian D'souza endorses Zildjian USA cymbals.





Pawan Benjamin – saxophone (New York)

Pawan Benjamin learnt the saxophone under avant garde jazz legend, Roscoe Mitchell. His knowledge of Western harmony, and the Jazz tradition, paired with his knowledge of the music of India and Nepal, has given him a unique worldly perspective of music which he applies as a saxophonist, bansuri artist, and composer and producer. An alumnus of Manhattan School of Music (MSM) and Chhandayan Centre for Indian Music, he has performed at some of the most prestigious venues around the world: Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, the Velvet Lounge (Chicago), The Blue Note, Bimhuis (Amsterdam) and the Music Gallery (Toronto) among other places.



Lydia Hendrikje Hornung (Germany) - vocals

is an emerging singer and composer from Germany. She is a versatile performer, excited by many different music styles and has been influenced by sounds from Brazil to India. She regularly plays with musicians from all over the world, which keep inspiring her, bringing something new and fresh to the music every time. As a child, she often found herself browsing through her parents’ records, dreaming away with The Beatles and dancing around to Michael Jackson. She had discovered the love for performing by the age of five when she joined children’s choir. Her mother’s old piano intrigued her to take lessons and learn to play. Lydia Hendrikje studied at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, The Netherlands, where she gratuated in 2012, majoring in ‘jazz vocals’. In the summer of 2015, she obtained her Masters’ degree at Codarts in Rotterdam. Lydia is teaching music lovers of all ages. Her own music is a collision of lyrical strings meeting deep synthesizer sounds, with her light and crispy vocals flying on top.




Karan Joseph – keyboards/organ

Karan's brilliant command over the piano was evident very early in his life. Often being called a child prodigy, he started playing at the tender age of five. With Honours and Distinctions from the Royal School of Music, Trinity College of Music and the Bangalore School of Music, He later went on to study the Piano professionally at Berklee College of Music in the USA where he learned music from veteran musicians like Danilo Perez, Hal Crook and Jeff Covell. Karan has performed across many venues in India such as blueFROG (Mumbai), Opus, Bflat & Herbs and Spices in Bangalore, Shisha Cafe in Pune and at Rockwood Music Hall, Smalls, Fat Cat, 55 Bar and more in New York. He recently performed with Pentagram on MTV Unplugged and in the past has played alongside Victor Wooten, Mike Stern, Dennis Chambers, David Binney, Amit Heri, L Subramanium, Prasanna and Adrian D’souza.



Opening Act: The Deccan Voices is a mixed vocal performing group in the twin cities and takes great pride in performing from their repertoire of classical, jazz, musicals, film or popular music - a cappella - often accompanied by keyboard/piano and other instruments. The singers have a passion for music and a desire to share that passion.