By Kátia Moraes / English Edition: Cecillia Schlesinger
Praful was born in Dusseldorf, Germany and is a very inquisitive musician. His trips to countries like India and Brazil changed the way he looks at the world, at people and shaped the way he expresses his art thorough the sax and flute (he also plays Basuri, an Indian wooden flute). In 1987 he moved to Holland to study jazz at the Amsterdam School of Arts. Since 1990’s he has been mixing African, Latin, Brazilian and Indian music. Years ago I met Paul over the phone.
His agent, John Lamanna, had called me asking if I would sing in Praful’s tour in the U.S. A few days after that Praful arrived in LA and called me. We talked a little but l couldn’t work with the “Latin Project” tour. This respective year I could meet and work with him and his musicians: Rene Dissel (bassist from Amsterdam with an incredible groove), Martin Denev (Keyboardist that made me crazy with his accent from Bulgaria), Bart Thimbles (the elegant King of grooves with is computer and CD turn table) and Marquinho Brasil (Brazilian percussionist based in San Francisco that referred me to Praful). I learnt the songs from materials that he sent me through the mail and the internet and we had a rehearsal few hours before the show at the “Jazz Alley” in Seattle.
The music he has currently composed can be called “Electronic-Acid-Smooth-jazz”. The radio stations haven’t found a label of his music yet but they played “Singh” people started to call asking for the artist’s name. His CD was released by Rendezvous Entertainment here in LA.
At the Earth Day Festival in Oakland I could see excitement of the audience with “Singh”. He even says in each show: “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for this song”. The trips he made to various places in the world are present in his way of expressing his art. Besides being an improviser with very good taste, he added very danceable beats to his melodies that make you dance. One says the spontaneity reigning in his performances.
Praful’s real name is Uli but just his Mon and some Childhood friends called him that. He lives in Amsterdam, speaks a harsh language but surprises people with his sweetness, especially when he Speaks Portuguese. Praful is Sanskrit word that means “Blossoming”.
He received this name in India when he became a Sanyasi. When he was 28 years old he decided to visit “Osho” (do you remember the “spiritual” community founded in Oregon in the “eighties”). Praful’s brother was a Sanyasi and had just passed away while sailing to Tenerife Island. Praful didn’t know which way to go after he graduated at the Music Conservatory.
The decision to go to India had to do with his father’s death when he was eleven years old as well. His energies were being sucker by all the sadness related to these events. He realized later that he had a lot of crying to do then. And it was there, in India that a new world opened for him. The meditation sessions, the music, the mantras and the wisdom that he inhaled brought peace of mind to his life. And it was also there that he fell in love with a Brazilian woman called Safi. If you want to know a little more about him, visit www.praful.nlor www.rendezvousmusic.com
* Katia Moraes is a longtime Soul Brasil contributor. She is a singer, composer and writer. Katia is a native from Rio de Janeiro and lives in Los Angeles – www.katiamoraes.com