| 21 Apr 2024
NCPA presents The International Jazz Festival

MUMBAI: NCPA is proud to host its first International Jazz Festival with a medley of internationally renowned musicians’ from 24 to 26 November 2017. Jazz is a unique form of music that crosses boundaries and has an ageless and timeless appeal across generations and a varied diaspora.

International Music general manager Farrahnaz Irani says, “For the first time, audiences will be able to enjoy a series of acclaimed Jazz bands and soloists from India and abroad in a varied and interesting format combining experimental styles with familiar jazz standards and new compositions with others by the masters. We hope to set the ball rolling and continue to attract the best talent in this field so that audiences get an opportunity to enjoy top-notch music and jazz.”

The first performance of the festival is the band, Latination. Latination is influenced by the great heritage of Latin and jazz music, from salsa, rumba, samba, cha-cha-cha, guaracha, cumbia or merengue, played in a unique style. The band will perform many original compositions in the unadulterated style of Latin-jazz music as well as classics. The band comprises a mixture of French and Indian artistes dedicated to Latin-jazz proving that cultural globalization isn't only a flaw in the world of art.

On the same day, there is a foot-tapping evening in store with The Kevin Davy Quintet who will perform music composed by Miles Davis, and some of the compositions strongly associated with him, as well as material by the U.K. trumpeter, Kevin Davy. He will play examples of Miles Davis’ early swing and bop-influenced compositions, through to his modal jazz period, and into the more driving contemporary rock and funk-influenced music of his later career. The performance will also showcase Marco Quarantotto (Drums), Serge Ngando Pondo (Bass), Oli Arlotto (Tenor Saxophone) & Karim Ellaboudi (Piano/Keys).

The next day will showcase Italian jazz vocalist Elisabetta Antonini. She is the first Italian female singer to sign the prestigious independent label Candid Records, of renowned music producer Alan Bates and also the Winner of the Top Jazz Magazine Award, voted by critics as The Best New Talent 2014. Elisabetta will be performing various jazz singles including The Beat Goes On which is a tribute to the anti-conformist literary and social youth movement which originated in America during the 1950s in the bohemian artiste communities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. The movement was dedicated to the Beat Generation amalgamating authors and poets who loved Jazz music. Elisabetta wrote original jazz music on their words, using the real voices of the Beats, to re-create the suggestive atmospheres of that generation, their dreams, their travels, their hopes and their fights for freedom, ranging from bebop jazz to Bob Dylan’s folk, from suggestive backgrounds based on electronics and sampling to moments of collective free improvisation. Bringing this experience on stage, Antonini will also present a vast repertoire of original and contemporary jazz works through her live presentation.

This performance will be followed by Austrian Quintet Worry. Later who will be showcasing an ensemble from their latest album Humpty Bump along with unique expressions from contemporary European Jazz music. The jazz band has several brass instruments and is looking forward to enticing the audience with their musical highlights packed with distinctive sounds.

For the finale, no less than Greg Banaszak Quintet featuring Greg Banaszak- alto saxophone, Chris Anderson – trombone, Theron Brown- piano, Gianluca Liberatore- bass and Aron Nyiro- drums is a celebration of the music of jazz greats like Ellington, Colltrane, Davis, Hancock and more. This concert features a classy tribute to the jazz icons that created the foundation of what is deemed as today's’ modern jazz standards. The evening begins with the Miles Davis beloved standard, Solar. Other items on the menu include works by Anderson and Brown and Mumbai’s very own, Benny Soans. After intermission, they continue with the Ellington standard Caravan and a tribute to the master of comic timing – Charlie Chaplin himself.

Perhaps the most exciting part of this Jazz Festival will be the Jam Session scheduled as a finale for the festival. In this Jam Session, most of the participants in the festival, certainly the soloists will be on stage together to perform a few well-known jazz pieces as one band. The highlight will be the improvised solos that will be performed by each of the maestros. Improvisation tests and demonstrates the skills of the soloists to explore the piece to the limit. It is technically a difficult skill to perform impromptu on stage with new musicians. This 90-minute session of the Jam Session will be a treat for the jazz audience.