Monday, March 9, 2009

Manohari Singh – The Maestro of Saxophone

Contributed by ~ Niilesh A Raje

Seventy years ago he was just like another school going boy but today he is the epitome of music. Be it a small segment of just five seconds or a solo of five minutes but the passion and pride with which this gentleman works and gives complete justice to his brass reed instrument with gradually widening tube popularly called as the “Saxophone”
is absolutely mind blowing.

The senior most as well as renowned saxophonist and key-flute player in the Indian music industry none other than Manohari Singh nicknamed as “Manohari Da” or simply “Dada” celebrated his 80th birthday with great enthusiasm on 08th March ‘ 09 at Dinanath Mangeshkar Hall, Vile Parle. To honor the legend a musical show had been organized by ‘Swargandhar’ organization lead by Mandar Karnik with program titled as “Salute to the Legend” - Manohari Singh.

Dada was recently bestowed with the Dada Phalke Academy award for his invaluable contribution to cine music as well as O.P. Nayyar Award for his contribution to the Hindi film industry. Singh who is par excellence with the saxophone, trumpet and key-flute, himself held the center stage yesterday for full three hours. Singh is known to have suffered a kidney failure and is on dialysis for twice a week for the last two years. ‘Swargandhar’ organization gave proceeds of the programme to Manohari Singh as token of love and for sincere appreciation of his work and in a bid to help the artiste.

To grace the occasion popular Bollywood playback singer Padma Vibhushan Aasha Bhosale was invited as the Chief Guest. Veteran singers like Sudesh Bhosale, Shrikant Narayan, Sonali Karnik, Neha Varma and Ajit Parab also performed as a part of the show. Special invites also included Ashok Hande, Amit Kumar, Kersi Lord, Pradeep Bhide and the wife of Manohari Singh.

Born in Kolkata and continuing the legacy of his family of musicians he is known to have set golden standards as a musician, arranger and composer is a consummate master of his craft. If there were anything that is being controlled by passion for Manohari Singh then it would be his gold-plated saxophone bought from New York in 1969. He makes it certain that he keeps his gold-plated Saxophone away from the dust neat and clean to deliver his work with benchmark of quality.

Manohari Singh is also the Mumbai film industry’s last surviving links with members of RD’s original band who played for the saxophonist and mandolin. One must admit that the real musicians behind film songs should be bought in the forefront and be perceptible. Musicians may be working from an area concealed from public view but they too need to be recognized for their work.
Growing popularity of stage shows in recent times has given more visibility and recognition admits Dada. We wish this octogenarian good luck, peace, prosperity and happiness on his roads to achievements.

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