All That Jazz at Celebrate Bandra 2007
Held close to the Bandra fort (Mumbai) at Bandstand Amphitheatre, the first day of Jazz Utsav (festival), part of Celebrate Bandra 2007, was really enjoyable with performance by international bands featuring Paula Jeanine and Jake Fryer & the London Bebop Collective. The musical extravaganza will end today, November 25th, it started on the 23rd.Entry was only by invitation, and unfortunately we didn’t have an invite, then a very kind of mine came to our rescue and got us in. The festival kick started with local artists – Sanjay Divecha, Adrian & Karl playing some jazzy tunes as we tried to find a place in the open air theatre.
Luckily we found the best place in the house, atop a cliff (we were on the ruins of old Portuguese fort) with the sea as the backdrop and the palm trees swaying with the mellow tunes of the local band.
The crowd began to build up, and soon the place was packed.The guitarist, Sanjay Divecha, played for both the local and Paula’s band.Up on stage was the popular vocalist, percussionist, composer and poet – Paula Jeanine. Well the Indian jazz lovers would probably know her as she has performed earlier in Mumbai at various events. But a lot of us were also seeing her perform for the first time, and it was really impressive! The way she blended South Asian musical form of Ghazal with western music was top class. She calls that American Ghazal. Listen to her tunes in the video below.
Jeanine’s songs were on topics of love and divine longing weaved in with themes of family, cultural identity, mind travel, use of substances etc. She was like a live wire on stage, jumping around, cracking few jokes, a true performer!She received an encore from the audience at the end of her performance and sang a lovely number asking god to not only bless the girl who believes in the Bible but also the one who believes in Drums. I am sure if a lot of people understood her lyrics there would have been quite a big scene.My personal favorite was about the man who’s body couldn’t travel so he would smoke and travel in his mind, it had a very strong Indian influence and spoke about things people smoke all over India.Next on stage was Jake Fryer & the London Bebop Collective. The piano, the saxophone and the piano, together made some amazing sounds. It was foot-tapping and soul-enriching! Here is the video to share our experience – Be it a purist or a person who loves music, Jazz Utsav was great! We ended up going for the second day as well. The artists performing were Sascha Ley (Belgium), Madhav Chari Trio (India), Chet Baker Tribute (Norway). We made it on time for tribute to American trumpeter and vocalist – Chet Baker. Although yesterday there was a mess up with the piano, the peddle got stuck, delayed performance of the band.
At the end of it we were all jazzed up and what a way to spend the weekend.
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