Biography: Martin Dahanukar is one of the most exciting musicians working today in Europe, and one of the most precious: for his individuality, for having the courage to inhabit his own imaginative world, and for daring to work without obvious commitment to a single style or to a rigid modernity.
Brian Morton, editor of The Penguine Guide To Jazz, London
Trumpeter and composer Martin Dahanukar was born in Munich to parents of Indian and Swiss-German origin. He spent his adolescence in the cities of Munich, Bombay, Zurich and Bern.
Music caught his interest from an early age. First Martin took up the electric guitar at age twelve, having been strongly influenced by rock music. Playing this “talking drum instrument” subsequently opened doors to many sound spheres of different cultures. Eventually the music of Miles Davis shifted his focus towards the jazz style of the late sixties with its African and Asian elements and has become Martin's language ever since. Jazz, itself a musical style with multiple sources, has definitely shaped his diverse cultural identity the most. Originally an autodidact, Martin Dahanukar completed his studies at the jazz department of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
From age twenty, he began performing throughout Switzerland and abroad (Germany, Austria, France and India). His discography over the last eleven years includes six recordings. The music of Martin Dahanukar jazz partly echoes sounds from India and other far eastern cultures. His third and latest quartet album Scent Of Jungle is a quintessence of his sonic experience so far.
Jazz players such as Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and Woody Shaw were eminently influental for their fire, unique phrasing, melodic expression and risk taking performance styles, including their sensitivity for other concepts of combining tone and rhythm.
Since a visit to Bombay in the mid-1990s, Indian music has become another source of inspiration: sufi music and singers such as Ustad Ali Ghulam Khan, Amir Khan, Surashri Kesarbai Kerkar and M.S. Subbulaksmi. Among instrumentalists, sarangi player Ram Narayan as well as sitarist Ustad Vilayat Khan and sarodist Ali Akbar Khan have become radiant idols.
Occidental classical interpreters such as David Oistrach, Sviatoslav Richter, as well as more recently Thomas Zehetmair's string quartet and violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, have left ever lasting impressions on Martin Dahanukar.
Above and beyond, Martin Dahanukar reveres the works by composers such as Bartok, Messiaen, Ligeti and all the godfathers and godmothers of jazz music.