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News |  25 Apr 2019 15:01 |  By RnMTeam

There is a resurgence of jazz in India: Louis Banks

MUMBAI: Father of Indian Jazz, Louis Banks has teamed up with NCPA to curate a musical evening dedicated to celebrate jazz on the occasion of International Jazz Day, The event will be held on 30 April 2019 at the Tata theatre in Mumbai. In an exclusive interview with Radioandmusic, he talks about International Jazz Day, show with NCPA, jazz and more.
Speaking about his upcoming performance at NCPA on the occasion of International Jazz Day 2019, Louis Banks says, “International Jazz Day celebration is an event that is very close to my heart. It’s a great platform to promote and popularise jazz in the city and showcase some of the finest musical talents of the country.”
On his association with NCPA, he comments, “I have had a great association with NCPA for many years and have had the great pleasure of performing at their world class theatres, on many occasions. I do hope our relationship stays intact as we collectively share the responsibility of promoting quality music at all times.”
Louis is hailed as the Godfather of Indian Jazz. On being asked, how according to him the genre has flourished in the country, he explains, “Ever since jazz made a presence on Indian shores from the thirties, it has been a rollercoaster ride for entrepreneurs and practitioners to keep the momentum of jazz popularity in the country.  But thankfully jazz is still around and musicians are performing albeit to a niche audience. The good news is that the enterprising and sophisticated youth of today are listening to jazz more than ever. Hence we can safely say that there is a resurgence of jazz in India. Hallelujah!!!!!”
“Mainstream jazz is the same everywhere in the world. Only the fusing of Indian classical music with jazz elements has been an add on in the concept of Indian jazz fusion. My efforts have been extensive in that direction ever since government of India gave me the opportunity to form an Indo jazz fusion band and tour the length and breadth of Europe in the eighties. We did more than fifty successful concerts all across Europe. This super fusion band was called Sangam. Hence, Indo jazz fusion is our contribution to the jazz world,” he elaborates on the difference between Indian and international jazz.
Having been there on the top of the jazz game for years know, the musician has nailed every element of jazz. So, on being asked if there is any element of jazz Indian jazz musicians still have to explore, Banks exclaims, “There is no end to explorations and jazz is always evolving. Such is the depth and scope of jazz and innovating Indian jazz musicians are on a voyage of discovery and it is never ending. Such is the beauty of jazz.”
Lastly, Louis gave a message to the budding jazz musicians, “I want to give them a message to keep on searching, innovating  and honing their individual skills as budding jazz musicians They must keep abreast of existing jazz styles and development in the international jazz circles  and should aspire to raise the performing standards and be at par with the greatest jazz musicians that exist today.  Work harder, practise harder, imitate, interact and set your standards very high. Jazz is a universal phenomenon today. Nothing is impossible!!!!”
Meanwhile, the International Jazz Day 2019 celebrations at the NCPA will have other noteworthy names like Ustaad Zakir Hussain, Gino Banks, Sanjay Divecha, Vinay Kaushal, Isheeta Chakravarty, Rohan Ganguly, Clement Rooney, and others.