It was a satisfying and stunning day at the third edition of the Heritage Jazz Yatra at Gonsalves Mansion simply because of the quality of music that was dished out by a wide range of musicians from all over.
Starting the day with George Fernandez who flew in from Hyderabad especially for the event, I personally never expected the show to take off to the heights it did. Never a traditionalist in jazz, I have always preferred the funkier version of this genre, and what we did get was precisely this. Tala Faral, the diminutive musical explosive from Madagascar gave a stunning display of African and Cuban jazz that put the cherry on the icing of an absolutely wonderful year for us all in the jazz movement.What endears me to Tala is the simplicity and relaxed style that he exhibits. And it is this simplicity and good nature that he transfers to a complex and exhilarating style on the keyboards as well as the saxophone.
There are times when the music is great but the visual impact of the musician is staid. But, with Tala, you had the best of both these worlds, a virtual feast for the eyes and ears. Despite being a pianist myself, I was in awe at the mastery he displayed on the keyboards and was caught behind the keyboards trying to learn something from this genius.
The interaction between Tala and his friends was simply of the highest order. He led them like a Pied Piper, and the bond between the team was something that was so wonderful to experience. When Tala was on the saxophone which he plays with such dexterity, he had a wonderful interaction with Suzanne who matched all that he could throw at her by replying with her melodious voice, something which is easier seen than done. And, our very own US based, Goan, Adrian D’ Souza was simply excellent on drums with Benai displaying a refreshingly easy style on lead guitar with Dwight showing tremendous creativity on bass.
Very importantly, the very place that nurtures music in such a big way, our very own beloved Goa, is getting a taste of different styles and this augurs well for the music industry here. What we had last Sunday was a plethora of stars from all over India. Frank Dubier on a variety of wind instruments, from Chennai, S Harikumar and Balachandran from Kerala amongst others, gave the crowd a taste of a wide range of very creative jazz that has actually made this genre a favourite amongst the people. I remember the time earlier this year when no one was ready to give jazz a chance, but when I look back at the year, it can be safely said that jazz is the flavour of the season. And, for this, credit should go to the numerous supporters of Jazz, principle of which is the State Bank of India who supports the shows in such a big way. The funding of musicians, their travel and so many other costs has enabled us to bring world-class exponents of jazz to Goa.
Being the last show of the year, it would also be in sync to thank my mother Aduzinda without whose support this whole jazz movement would have gone nowhere.
The way she understands the virtual invasion of her home during these shows and the support she gives us right from directing her personal staff as well as helping out in just anyway she can, is why I know that I am abundantly blessed. It is normally said that we take our Closest for granted but it can be safely assumed that all of us raise our hats to her as well as my children Zenisha and Nihal Gonsalves, for the unstinted support that they have given us.
For more information on the happening jazz scene in Goa, do visit our website www.heritagejazz.com
Photo: Tala Faral of Madagascar with Claire Williams from London at the Heritage Jazz Yatra