The Heritage Jazz Yatra that was held on Sunday 23 January was a runaway success what with over four hundred people a thronging the leafy street at Gonsalves Mansion, in Campal, to witness world class jazz in the form of saxophonist George Brooks, guitarist and singer Leni Stern, drummer Sunny Jain, saxophonist Steve Welsh and double bassist Gary Wang, all from the United States of America.
George Brooks is a tenor sax player and pianist who plays all over the world, and has his moorings in Indian music. This was amply seen in the "jugalbandi" between him and virtuoso violinist, brilliant S Harikumar who continues to excite the Goan jazz lovers every time he is here. George’s mentor has been Pandit Pranath with his inspiration coming from Hariprasad Chaurasia whom he holds in the highest esteem. He has extensively played with Zakir Hussain and host of other Indian greats and feel that Indian music has much to offer. He tours India very often in order to mix with the Indian culture as well as learn and grasp the feeling of Indian music.He was ably assisted by Leni Stern, a female vocalist, and the jazz ambassadors from the US, Sunny Jain and his troupe comprising the unusual double bassist whom we hardly see any more in this country and a versatile also saxophonist.
The evening was different from the others in the series with a lot of original compositions from the troupe. And, what was heartening is the seriousness displayed by the enthusiastic audience who were in rapt attention right through the performance. Every act of brilliance was met with applause. The performers were thrilled to play at such a venue and said that it was a unique experience that they never encountered in any of their tours all over the world. They also felt that the audience was excellent and that they were definitely going to be back to regale the Goan people again.
Various individuals and companies that included Dr. Britto of Vaiguinim Valley Resort, Anju Timblo, Joe Mathias, Dinar Tarcar, Vero Nunes amongst others, supported the show.
The Heritage Jazz Yatra is a series of events that started off in October 2004 and is conceptualized and organized by Trancemedia.
For more on the hot jazz scene in Goa, visit www.heritagejazz.com
Photo courtesy of Heritage Jazz. From left to right:
1) Sunny Jain on drums (partly hidden by cymbals)
2) George Brooks on saxophone
3) Gary Wang on electric double bass
4) Steve Welsh on saxophone