CHENNAI: Not only do they live together, but they also jam together. This is of course when they are both at home at the same time in Mumbai, and not jet setting across the country from one show to the next.
In fact, if it were any one else sharing the stage with a father as famous as Louis Banks, one would imagine they would consider it playing in his shadow. But not Gino Banks — this drummer revels in all the action. “Every time there’s a jazz musician passing through India, they have to meet dad,” he says fondly. “And of course, when they come home we end up jamming together, and maybe make some music.”
Just before the father and son flew down to Chennai, he recalls, “We had Mike Stern (world famous jazz guitarist) drop by one afternoon for a jam,” and that’s a glimpse into a regular afternoon at the Banks household. And when they’re not making music, they spend time cataloging tunes composed a long, long time ago. “Dad’s been composing ever since the 70’s, so it’s written in books kept over the house,” Gino explains. “So my plan is to document it as audio and get it all saved up for later,” he adds.
This is apart from the six or so bands he plays with, ranging from the Mekaal Hasan band (Sufi rock) to Sitar Funk. Talk about eclectic huh? “Oh and I’ve got my solo debut coming out soon,” he adds, making it all seem as easy as pie. Ah, but we guess when you’ve been raised to live breathe music, the keys to the kingdom are already in the ‘bank’.