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News |  29 Apr 2016 19:56 |  By RnMTeam

Jazz Up Your Weekend: How India is celebrating the genre

MUMBAI: India and Jazz music crossed paths almost a century ago and the affair between the two had its ups and downs ever since. However, neither stopped the jazz enthusiasts throughout the previous generations to pursue their passions, and intent to promote the genre in respective manners. The 1940s led to a new sound as a result of combination between Indian classical and western jazz music, thus producing indo-jazz sub-genre. The indo-jazz sound enriched the western and Indian perception of Jazz, and allowed the musicians to experiment with 'free jazz'.

Frpm Ravi Shankar to John McLaughlin and Louis Banks, jazz (or indo-jazz) gave birth and platform to several stalwarts, and when one of the mentioned legends curates a jazz festival, the outcome will surely be legendary.

Louis Banks belongs to a family that had actively contributed to music for eight generations, so far. Joined by his son and renowned jazz drummer Gino Banks, Banks Sr. will celebrate the ‘International Jazz Day’ with over 35 jazz artistes from across the country at blueFROG Mumbai on the night of 30 April. Louis Banks has been at the forefront and an ideal ambassador of this international art form, and for its fourth edition, the veteran jazz composer and multi-instrumentalist plans to raise the bar with the most extensive and elaborate line-up ever. Veteran musicians like the Banks Sr. & Jr., Gary Lawyer, Dhruv Ghanekar and several others will be accompanied by the newer generation’s face of jazz music, comprising Ron Cha, Anurag Naidu, Andrew Kanga, Vinayak Pol and twelve other new age jazz enthusiasts. The two generations of musicians will share the stage with the two generations of jazz vocalists, ensuring a night of unparalleled experience for the attendees. The ‘International Jazz Festival’ at blueFROG Mumbai will open its doors at 7:30 p.m., and the entry is free for the early arrivals.

With another show at a cafe, Mumbai will continue its celebration of jazz music on the following day. Adil Manuel (of the acclaimed project Adil & Vasundhara) & Friends will take the centre-stage at Bandra Base on 1 May. Known for its sonic quality, the posh café located in Bandra West is a Whistling Woods creation and the first-of-its-kind culture club will celebrate the jazz day from 9.30 p.m. on Sunday. Entry for the event – Rs. 300.

Jazz music celebrations will travel beyond Mumbai, with Bengaluru’s Indigo Live Music Bar hosting Israeli jazz musician Ehud Ettun’s debut performance in India. Lead bassist Ehud Ettun will be joined by pianist Daniel Schwarzwald and drummer Nathan Blankett (collectively called as Ehud Ettun trio), thus becoming one of the few non-Indian jazz act to headline on the weekend. The event begins at 08:00 p.m. with Rs. 300 cover charge for the same.

When it comes to jazz, very few live venues in the country celebrate the essence of jazz as consistently as Delhi’s The Piano Man Jazz Club. To mark International Jazz Day, the club has organised a free event for the jazz enthusiasts and fans of the city who will witness Guitarist Pranai Gurung, drummer Tarun Balani, pianist Utsav Lal and few others come together for a night of pure and evolved music of modern jazz. Titled ‘Giants of Jazz’, the International Jazz Festival falls under the club’s ten-day long initiative that includes Tarun Balani Collective, Refuge, Nik Bartsch’s Ronin, Keko Fornarelli Trio, Dainius Pulauskas Group and Burum.

Located over 35 kms away from The Piano Man Jazz Club, Gurgaon’s ‘Cocktails & Dreams Speakeasy’ goes an extra mile, and an extra day, to ensure jazz celebration does not remain a one-day affair. The venue will celebrate International Jazz Day with a two-day festival featuring four Delhi acts. On Saturday, 30 April, vocalist Nishtha Sachdeva and experimental jazz trio Capital Three will form the line-up for the night. On 1 May, singer-songwriter Tanya Nambiar and jazz-funk quartet Afterglow make up the bill, thus concluding the International Jazz weekend. With no entry fee on both days, Cocktails & Dreams Speakeasy joins the list of renowned live venues that believes the celebration of jazz remains accessible and affordable to one and all. The event begins at 08:00 p.m. on both days.

French trio Piloot and Delhi’s world music collective Trippy Sama come together at Delhi’s antiSocial for a genre-bending and versatile blend of jazz, modern jazz and beyond. The unique line-up comes with a price, however the aspects are too luring to pay Rs. 300 for over two hours of continuous improvised jazz. The event begins at 09:00 p.m. on 30 April.