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Just Sisters are a vocal harmony group from Auroville, near Pondicherry.
Inspired by the 50s vocal groups like Andrews Sisters or Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Just Sisters perform music arranged for three voices, accompanied by minimal instrumentation and robust percussion. The band features Shakti Balu (Ukraine) on keys and voice, Kirtana Krishna (India) on guitar and voice, Sraddha Sobhan (India) on voice, and Tommaso D’Avanzo (Italy) on percussion.
Their repertoire includes popular jazz and Latin classics arranged for 3-part harmony, and sung in English, French and Portuguese. Just Sisters are on a mini tour, with their first stop being BIC, Bangalore.
Shakti Balu is an accomplished musician from the Ukrainian National Music College. She is a composer, songwriter, performer, as well as being a highly sought-after voice coach with decades of experience. Last year she debuted her life’s work of composing for Sri Aurobindo’s sonnets.
In Just Sisters, she is the chief arranger and harmonist, with extensive knowledge on the placement of vocal lines to create alluring harmony. Shakti directs and the rest of the team blend on her cue. She also plays the keys on all songs, and steps in with guitar for a couple of tunes.
Sraddha Sobhan is the latest addition to the sisters ensemble. She grew up listening to music, and began formal training at the age of eight, in Carnatic Classical voice. She is a mechanical engineer who chose to reignite her passion for music after stepping into the corporate world. She is a graduate of SAM. She moved to Auroville to pursue her music, and she also teaches voice. Sraddha is an exceptional vocalist with remarkable pitch.
In Just Sisters, Sraddha usually takes the alto harmony, except when she’s leading. Her steady pitch is an asset to the group.
Kirtana Krishna is a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter. She began singing at an early age but took formal coaching later in life. She too is a graduate of SAM, and is an ardent fan of all things jazz, bossa nova and samba. She is a phenomenal vocal improvisor, breezing through harmonic changes, albeit after many years of study and practice.
In Just Sisters, she takes the soprano harmony, and also leads some songs. Additionally, she has the responsibility of improvisation on guitar or voice or both.
Tommaso D’Avanzo comes from a multigenerational musical family. He began playing percussion at the age of fifteen and has not looked back since. He is an exceptional multi-percussionist, with a precise touch and excellent time. Tommaso’s skills have had him featured on Italian national television and radio. He is an expert hand at countless styles of rhythm, from Afro to Latin, Arabic to Mediterranean, the knowledge of which are translated over multiple instruments, from pandeiro to cajon, congas to chimes.
In Just Sisters, Tommaso is the rhythmic unit that ties the sisters’ harmonies together