Jazz in India gets Red Hot

From the Jazz Greats show held on October 12 at my home, Gonsalves Mansion, in Campal to the Jazz Ablaze event held at the Highway Village in Porvorim last weekend, it is obvious that something all jazz lovers have been waiting for has come down to ‘terra firma’.

Jazz is the flavour of the season, and the way people are thronging venues to listen to creative music is an exciting development. There was a time just a couple of seasons ago where jazz events would be dreary affairs, where a few die-hard fans would be present to egg on the’ musicians. I am sure that these interesting and positive developments have already created the environment where young musicians can compose their own music, and in the bargain reach out for the stars!

Last week, Interplay; an all­ star formation comprising Karl Peters, Adrian D’Souza, Harmeet Manseta and So­nia Saigal regaled a huge crowd to an extent that the newly opened Highway Village could not have asked for more. The setting was superb; a marriage of Panjim Ablaze and Heritage Jazz, what with the attractive star-lights making the beautiful surrounds more interesting. Harmeet was simply exhilarating on the key­boards, and the way he caressed the keys made an amateur pianist like me wonder why I did not take music more seriously! Food for the soul!

It was wonderful to see young musicians trying to learn a trick or two from other music greats such as Karl Peters who defy logic whilst playing the bass guitar, Sonia Saigal whose beautiful voice could surely be heard in far-off Panjim right from the plateau of Porvorim, and brilliant drummer Adrian D’­Souza whose quality work has been appreciated by music greats such as Earl Klugh, George Duke and leg­endary AI Jarreau.

For me, this journey through the myriad land­scapes that jazz can conjure up is one of the most excit­ing skirmishes I have had with the sublime, and each and every event is a love af­fair waiting to be explored. No amount of thanks can make up for the wonderful work that my good friend Ashok Bajaj did with his stunning venue which also houses the rustic Kebab Junction, the spot for great food from the North West Frontier Province. Even though the pressure of a 400-strong crowd didn’t send him into a tizzy, there is no doubt that the food is something you would be happy to walk a few miles for!

And thanks to Remo for walking-in to be part of the wonderful crowd that was present at the. inaugural show at the venue which I am sure will host many more interesting programmes through the season, thanks to the overwhelming support from all you wonderful people. The Jazz Revolution in Goa has started from grassroots, but it is nice that people from all hues have added fuel to the raging fire!

Check out www.heritagejazz.com for more info on the happening jazz scene in Goa, India.