All that jazz

Updated: Nov 7 2003, 05:30am hrs
Starting today evening at the Ficci Auditorium, one can enjoy a host of international jazz groups/performers dishing out a variety of jazz. Bands from Hungary, Norway, Canada, the US, France and India would be performing at the exclusive three day Jazz Yatra 2003, the yatra itself being revived after 11 years. And lending their ears to the musical treat will be corporate honchos, bureaucrats, and diplomats.

Gabor Bolla, the saxophone player of the Hungarian band Jazz Timers.
Jazz as a musical genre has undergone tremendous change; from the classical to the contemporary, embellished with dollops of improvisation. From the swing and dance melody-centric tunes of old times to the intellectually appealing music of today, all have a global audience.

As for the Delhi scene, the organisers feel that the profile of Capitals jazz lovers too is undergoing a similar transformation. In the past, there was a sprinkling of young people and students who would enjoy the music even if they didnt understand what it was all about, says Ratan Sehgal, of Jazz India, Delhi Chapter. But now, even as the 60-70 year-olds remain loyal to the jazz they grew up listening to, contemporary jazz is being followed by middle level executives between the age of 30-40, he stresses.

The Jazz Yatra kicked off in Mumbai yesterday at the Homi Bhaba Auditorium, with performances by the Dhruv Ghanekar band, Sascha Ley of Luxemburg and Michael Occhipinti of Canada.
The four-day Yatra will also feature young talent from India like Sonia Saigal with Black Market, Take 4 with Samantha Edwards, Shefali Alvares. International artists like Bugge Wesseltoft, Aubrey Ng, Gabor Bolla, Sunny Jain Collective, Sri Lanka All Stars Band, Ola Kvernberg, Auburn Connection and Manfred Leuchter will keep the Mumbai Jazz lovers entertained.
Since jazz lovers are coming together after a long gap, says Mr Sehgal, it is difficult to name or point out numbers of contemporary jazz followers here. He, however, points out that the variety on offer this year could be the proof were seeking. In this yatra, well have a mixture of both, as there will be bands playing classical American standards as well as those playing contemporary jazz, he says.

A major attraction of the yatra is Gabor Bolla, the 14-year-old tenor saxophone player of the Hungarian band Jazz Timers. We basically play American mainstream standards reflecting the style of the 50s to the 70s. But I will be playing a composition, which I have made specially for the yatra. It could be of about five minutes or longer depending on the improvisation, says the boy, whose favourite jazz artist is none other than Sonny Rollins.

Other performances scheduled will include the Ola Kvernberg Group from Norway; Bugge Wesseltoft, Norway; Sunny Jain, USA; Michael Occhipinti, Canada; Antoine Jacques Alain Herve, France; Madhav Chari, Mosin Menezes and Frank Dubier from India; and Urban Connection, Norway.

Join the yatra, Nov 7-9 at the Ficci Auditorium, 6:30 pm to 10 pm

Entry by invitation only.