Heritage Jazz Yatra to revitalise Heritage homes in Goa

A concept drops in a still pond. The ripples, believing in themselves, build into waves that overflow into an event. The Goa Heritage Jazz Yatra, the brainchild of Trancemedia, ignited Armando Gonsalves and Jergson Rebelo to give us an unforgettable concert at the Rebelo Mansion in Betalbatim on Sunday, 10 October 2004.

The Jazz Yatra would feature concerts under the stars in beautiful houses nestling in lush surroundings lamenting their forgotten glory. A facelift, a musical focus with stellar performers, and people pouring in to be a part of the glorious homage would regenerate the past status of these houses. Our younger generation and tourists would awaken to Goa’s charms transcending the overwhelming beach culture and the trendy disco scene.Goa has a deep enriching spirit that is entrenched in its heritage. It has to
be explored, mined, harvested, tasted, enjoyed. It has to be a part of what it
means to be a Goan. This series of concerts would bring people together in
musical and spiritual harmony, sharing a night out, eating, drinking,
socialising, surrendering to music’s powerful voice and reliving the grandeur of
Goan Heritage Homes. The first concert surpassed all these expectations.

It was a journey of discovery, an Odyssey for everyone involved in the concert.

Jergson Rebelo, his uncle Ponciano, steeped in the rich history of the place,
and the entire family saw the grandeur of their mansion shining with a new glow.
The traditional house with its deep roots drawing enrichment from its
fascinating past needed little encouragement to reassert its pride of place in
its surroundings.

Jergson became a man possessed. The lawns were manicured, the paths took shape,
permanent seats were built under the trees and the central tree favoured with a
stage stretched out its two truncated lower branches in warm welcome and tossed
its rich foliage proudly into the night sky. The lights ran everywhere: circling
the trees, outlining the house and its arched windows; spotlights threw shafts
of light, subtly illuminating key areas. The atmosphere was vibrantly festive.

The mansion which waited excitedly for an occasional visit from its owners was
happy because it had acquired a place of love and pride in their hearts. The
concert had rekindled the intimacy that had existed before and enabled the
mansion to be a tribute to the glories of the past and to come alive once again
in the present. The Rebelo children wanted to spend their holidays there;
visiting family members from overseas would have family get-togethers there;
parties would be held there. The house had become a home.

The concert broke boundaries. That’s the essence of Jazz – improvisation,
voyaging into new territories, creating fusion out of diverse, contrasting
elements. The saxophone in Kadri’s hands ran out of technical superlatives. But
Harikumar did not play second fiddle to this illustrious, much-awarded
performer. For the violinist, it was a journey into self, a realisation that he
was beyond compare. His infinite creativity and limitless technique were a
highpoint of the evening.

I’ve experienced the Stephane Grapelli excitement “live” and the thrill of
famous concert violinists but Harikumar transfixed me. The effortless intricate
bowing and flow of notes, the hair-raising complexity of his improvisations
glued people to their chairs. They simply wouldn’t let him go. An unforgettable
rendition of the National Anthem brought the concert to a close.

Our Goan artists were second to none as well. Lester Goudino (drums), Colin
D’Cruz (bass)and Carlos Gonsalves(percussion) injected an intense pulse; The
Roses in Harmony, an incredible Canadian with his unusual skatting, and so many
others made the evening a panorama of multifaceted music in Goa. And the Rebelo
mansion stood proudly in this magic.

Contributed and written by: Les Menezes, Goa

Visit www.heritagejazz.com for more information

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