Get Out Of The Jungle With The Jungle Book Band

by:  Thom Dunn at 10/03/2013

I'm just gonna put this out there: the crazy hybrid Indian-Jazz-fusion music of The Jungle Book is worth the price of admission alone (one of the cast members told me at the first rehearsal, "You ain't lived til' you've heard blues sitar"). This Sunday, October 6, the Jungle Book band is getting out of the jungle — or, orchestra pit, whatever — and heading over to Johnny D's in David Square for a night of original music, keeping in the style of the songs from the show. And it's only $15 bucks, which is significantly less than the price of a ticket (which, again, is a price of which they are certainly worth).

I'd love to tell you about the crazy cool collaboration that's been going on between the musicians in the show, but since I am but a lowly Web & New Media Manager and not a part of the total awesome band, I'll share some words from Saraswathi Ranganathan, our veena player (that's the thing that you probably thought was a sitar, but was not a sitar):

Most of our Jungle Book orchestra music is pre-arranged. But working with a music director like Doug Peck, meant we had wiggle room to improvise! That is a blessing because Indian Classical music, Turkish Music and Jazz share a key common idealogy: 'Manodharma Sangeetham' (A pithy Sanskrit term for Improvisational Music). We take delight and have a rather ravenous appetite for playing extempore! So, between rehearsals and during our dry-runs, the musicians are constantly improvising the same musical phrases in their own styles. This leads to exploring common scales and rhythm patterns, a dynamic back-and-forth exchange between the Jazz/Indian/Turkish music forms, and then voila there is this spontaneous outpouring of new refreshing music that bursts with such positive romantic energy, cutting through all apparent barriers of race, religion and culture. (What G12 summit can't achieve in 12 years, we can in 12 minutes!!)

Some of us musicians in the orchestra are not new to world music — we constantly collaborate, outside of our JB life, to present global music to Chicago audiences. Chicago is a great place for music across borders. It occurred to me to present all of us 12 musicians on one platform — as I could see tremendous potential for cross-collaborative music which will have a global appeal. And presenting instruments that may not have been heard or seen before! And, indeed, our presentation in Chicago was a great success which has been an inspiration to present more such while we are all stationed together.

Am very happy that Huntington has made this possible through their effort and encouragement, to make this a reality in Boston as well.

There is the true spirit behind this endeavor!

Love and Peace,

"I'm Doug Peck, and I approve this message.

If you don't know what you're missing, here's some music from an early workshop of The Jungle Book, just to give you a feel for what this sounds like:

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About me

Thom Dunn is the Web & New Media Manager at the Huntington, meaning it's his job to play around on the Internet and make things cool. He handles all of the video content and social media as well, and has the biggest computer monitor in the office. Like, ginormous.

Outside of the Huntington, Thom is a writer, musician, and homebrewer. It's all pretty cool. You can find out more about it at

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