By SHUCHITA RAO | India New England | Issue Date: Jan 15, 2006
WATERTOWN, Mass. â€” Ramona Borthwick is very happy with the way 2005 workedÂ out for her. The Mumbai-born pianist recently released her debut CD inÂ Boston entitled â€œA New Leaf,â€ featuring original compositions rooted in the jazz tradition.
Despite the grounding in jazz, the compositions reflect influences thatÂ stem from places including India, Latin America and the United States.Â Borthwick was raised in a rich musical environment playing WesternÂ classical music before she developed a taste for jazz.Â Her father, Enoch Daniels, was born in a musical family and worked for theÂ film industry in Mumbai, as an accordion player, composer and arranger ofÂ film music.
He introduced her to the world of music. â€œI started learning to play theÂ piano at the age of six, and since I didnâ€™t have my own piano, I waited atÂ my school, St. Josephâ€™s (Bandra, Mumbai) to practice after school hours.Â The doors of the school would close and the sweepers would come in to cleanÂ up. Can you imagine sitting in a huge hall like a football field playingÂ the piano? It was wonderful,â€ Borthwick says.
While her friends watched The Flintstones and cartoons on television, whichÂ had just come to Mumbai in the 1970s, she reveled in playing and practicingÂ the piano.
â€œOne of the hardest things in India was the lack ofÂ affordable pianos of good quality at that time. I finally got a decent
piano at age 14. By then, I was the assigned pianist at the school assemblyÂ and had started playing at the Sunday church services,â€ Borthwick says.
Borthwick moved to Ottawa in Canada in 1994 and to Boston in 1999. “I amÂ looking forward to performing and the opportunity to meet otherÂ musicians,â€ she says. â€œI just want to keep making music, thereâ€™s so much toÂ do, and so little time, I just feel blessed to be able to do it,â€ BorthwickÂ adds.
Besides music, Borthwick is also a talented painter and artist. InÂ addition, Borthwick has taught herself computer skills and designs webÂ sites through her company, Leitmotif.
Borthwick will perform in Marion, MA on January 21, 2006. More informationÂ about the event and her CD A New Leaf can be found on herÂ web site.