Heritage Jazz Sets Goa Ablaze

Sanjay Deshpande, photo courtesy of Sudeep Audio
Sanjay Deshpande, photo courtesy of Sudeep Audio
Author: Les Menezes

Place-rebelo mansion, betalbatim. Date-Sunday, October 10. Time-6.30pm. A sense of occasion prevails over the extensive grounds dressed for the event-the building and trees festooned with lights outlined against the sky, manicured pathways and lawns; tents, tables, chairs, a bar and a food counter enticing relaxed enjoyment; and a serious involvement zone with chairs attentively curved around the semi-circular stage built around the central tree that spread its luxuriant foliage protectively over the stage.

Keen enthusiasm poured into the two arms of the L-shaped arena and overflowed everywhere into the ample surroundings. the sound system carried the music to everyone.People arrived dressed for the occasion, their clothes reflecting their attitude to the event. Some were in evening dress, resplendent with jewelry, shawls the works. Some came in their Sunday best while others holidayed with their clothes casual, unusual, comfortable. Mixture and experiment were the keynote of the evening. the mood echoed the sense of enjoyment, participation and readiness for anything. And they got more than they bargained for.

Sanjay Deshpande opened the evening with a ‘Suitar’ solo. He has designed a sitar which can be played standing slung around his neck like a guitar! The sweetness of tone and fluidity of notes was a delight. nothing could be sweeter than his Suitar.

Gopalnath Kadri and S. Harikumar squatted on the stage and battled harmoniously exchanging, echoing, intertwining, interacting, competing, collaborating in infinite explorations of the tonalities of saxophone and violin sonorities. H. Subramanium with his ghattam and kanjira and R. Balachandran on the mridangam spiced up the central happenings with supporting and interjecting percussive effects. the audience was totally captivated.

Then hell broke loose. And the people went wild. Lester Godinho on the drums, Colin D’Cruz on the bass and Carlos Gonsalves on the percussion, joined them in unforgettable fusions. This was an indescribable experience. One could only surrender to the magic. You had to be there to feel the energy of the moment. This was live music at its best. Knife-edge jazz. Harikumar had not played with Kadri before and nor had the western jazz musicians with the Indian musicians. Yet they were creating the most incredible music.

The Roses in Harmony comprise three members of the Rose family-brother, nephew and niece of the famous Alfred Rose-Marshal (saxophone), Mozart (guitar) and Connie (keyboards). Our stellar jazz trio from the previous item-Lester, Colin and Carlos-completed a tight jazz ensemble which projected Goan musicians playing inimitably. Cool jazz for a real cool night. Each member a soloist blending together in enchanting musical cocktails-stirred not shaken to perfection. A welcome mixture to be sipped lingeringly after the heat that came before.

S. Harikumar climaxed the evening with the two Indian percussionists, Subramanium and Balachandran, and the Goan jazz trio, Lester, Colin and Carlos working themselves into a frenetic, competitive interaction showcasing the virtuosity and creative genius of each musician. The brilliance of the violinist was unbelievable as was his humility in providing opportunities for others to shine in challenging solos that he instigated. Neither the musicians nor the audience wanted the evening to end but midnight was creeping up so harikumar brought the concert to a close with an amazingly inventive rendition of the National Anthem.

Armando gonsalves of Trancemedia brought the concept of Heritage Jazz to life. He was the inspiration that motivated Jergson Rebelo and his family to transform their mansion into an ideal venue. the overpowering success of the evening has fired Trancemedia to carry the torch to other heritage homes and set them ablaze with memorable jazz concerts.

Heritage jazz information can be got from heritagejazzyatra.com