Ronojit Chaliha - Ron Cha, is a Jazz Pianist who trained in Western Classical Piano initially and crossed over to Jazz and improvised music. He has played at many venues in Europe and Asia, and performed alongside many great artistes such as Loy Mendonsa, Floyd Fernandes, Sheldon D'Silva, and others. He has attained accolades from the country’s best musicians such as Louiz Banks, Clinton Cerejo, Papon, Zubin Garg and Loy Mendonsa. Ron is currently involved with his Trio project, his solo piano works and well as his Electronic Experiments and he is freelancing as a session musician in the country. He has worked with very respected Jazz musicians from America, Europe and Asia such as Ben Schwendener, Uwe Steinmetz, Indro Hardjodikoro and others.
"I composed this song in the tea gardens of Assam. Petrichor is the smell of the moist soil after the first few minutes of rain and I am trying to express how much I love the smell of this beautiful aroma through this tune. Its a very special tune because it speaks to the audience with a very strong melody that will probably ring in the ears for a while. This recording features some of the country’s best musicians! Sheldon D’Silva on Bass and Gino Banks on Drums. "
I grew up listening to a lot of jazz music. My father used to listen to this record called “Romantic Warrior” by Return to forever. I could see my dad being so fascinated by it. As I listened to more and more, I started investigating Jazz music. I come from a family that really loves and appreciates good music so I guess my love for it was inevitable. Having grown up in Gauhati, when I switched from classical music to Jazz, I didn’t have too many options, so when I started learning it was through tutorials on YouTube.
So I started playing the piano when I was just 3. We had a piano at home. My granddad started teaching some basics and I eventually started training with Neil Nongkynrih, who is always the head of the Shillong Chamber Choir. I would drive 2 hours to Shillong from Gauhati and once I found a good teacher in Pune, my parents would fly me down once every
What was the defining moment for you as a Jazz pianist?
I would travel to Bombay pretty often to see if there were any opportunities I could make use of. I would call different musicians and see if they were free to jam. Once I started jamming and getting comfortable with musicians, we would stay up till 5 AM just making music. This is how I met Lloyd, and Gino and other jazz musicians in Bombay. Being able to play with them helped me improve my knowledge and skill and that was immensely helpful.
Congrats on making it to Berklee College of Music. What are you looking forward to most?
Getting into Berklee is huge. I’m looking forward to being in an environment surrounded by music and musical geniuses. A lot of people have told me that my perspectives may change. I’m open to that but I don’t want to lose track of my long-term goal in the long run.
When you are not making music, you are…
I spend time working out or swimming. I also love travelling.
Tejas Menon, Mahesh Ragunandan and Karan Joseph
I’m playing at Depo 29, Delhi on 26th of June. I’m going to be scoring music live for a silent black and white film while its being screened. It’s never been done in India before, so it’s going to be very exciting!