NU band to perform at Taste of Chicago on final day

Kevin Trahan

The Taste of Chicago will have a Northwestern flavor on Sunday, as Zamin, a band formed by former NU students, takes to the Bud Light Stage in Grant Park from 2:40 to 3:40 p.m. on the event’s final day.

The self-described “Indian world pop” band is made up of four graduates of the Bienen School of Music – Zeshan Bagewadi on vocals, Josh Fink on the bass, Dave Eisenreich on drums and Eric Seligman on guitar – and a fifth member, Genevieve Guimond, who did not attend NU.

“We started playing together two years ago at Northwestern,” Fink said. “Initially the current lineup, David, Zeshan and myself were in that lineup. In the past year we added Eric and Genevieve.”

Zamin is based in Chicago and has played in different spots around the city, including Millennium Park and the Old Town School of Folk Music in Lincoln Square. The band has also done an East Coast tour and gone to Minneapolis and Milwaukee. This October, the band will tour the East Coast again, hitting Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and a number of other locations.

Though the band has already been featured in some of Chicago’s musical hotspots and traveled to other big cities around the country, Fink said Sunday’s event is one of the Zamin’s best opportunities yet.

“The Taste is definitely the biggest gig we’ve played so far in the city,” Fink said. “We’re very excited about the possibilities that could come from playing the Taste. We have no idea what to expect, but we’re very pumped for playing in front of so many people.”

Fink said that the band’s style is “heading in the direction of indie-rock.” He said that the style is popular in the area, as evidenced by the City of Chicago’s Office of Special Events contacting the new band to play at the Taste. He said that there is a large audience for the genre “because a lot of them come to see us play.”

Zamin’s style is catching on in other cities, as well, despite the majority of the band’s gigs being in Chicago. It has also received high praise from music reviewers.

“The quintet’s niche is mixing Indian vocal techniques with underpinnings of less-exotic U.S. music – usually classical and folk, but also a bit of rock and light jazz,” Tom Surowicz wrote in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Zamin crafts tight polyglot post-pop three-minute songs that are downright commercial at times, even though they are sung in Urdu and other Indian languages. It’s all acoustic music, a blend of Bagewadi’s supple and amazing vocals with cello, stand-up bass, guitar and various hand drums.”

While the size of the audience at the Taste gives Zamin a good way to increase its fan base, Bagewadi said that the event is important for himself and the band for another reason.

“Chicago, I consider my hometown,” he said. “For us to present ourselves in front of my hometown is very special for me.”

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