The still waters of the evening sea have already started their easy jig. The sound and groove of jazz carries pieces of the cities it comes from; it jumps through continents and dances through musical collaborations. Jazz carries the stories of its beginnings and ends, of the experiments in its form and the wildness of the musical genius of those perform it. Jazz is constantly changing meanings, forms, histories, clothes and carrying the flavour of the place where it unfolds. Goa is not a city, but within it boundaries merge and a new sound emerges. It is a place where cities can blend and countries can sing in wild harmony.
The place where musicians from France, India and Luxemburg get together this year is the charming fantasy land that is Goa. Over the years, the Goa Jazz Festival has brought the best touring musicians of the international and the Indian scene, who sprinkle their music like magic dust which lights up the sea state in December, making it groove to the rhythm of jazz, funk, hip-hop and bebop.
Stone Water Eco Resort, close to Bogmalo Beach, was the home of to the Goa Jazz Festival produced by Teamworks Arts this year as well. The venue is a world in itself, with the audience jiving through two days of fabulous music. This year has its lures, from genius drummers like Jojo Mayer with his Nerve collective setting the tone for the party to ‘Guerrilla Jazz’ band Kefaya, whose members and sounds transgress the usual black and white categories of protest and exile music. A curious set, Kefaya and its ensemble certainly piqued our curiosity. Both these interesting bands define the range of music that the Goa Jazz Fest has presented this year. Another fascinating musician is French trumpeter Erik Truffaz who has often called his compositions ‘collages’. Here he collaborates with Riatsu, which created an interesting melange between his own take of the genre and an electronic ambiance.
Goa has its own share of performers who stun and energise the crowd in equal measure. The performers love the land of sea and song, and there is probably no cooler place to host to a Jazz Fest in India than this state.
Dark Circle Factor’s Tribute to Madfingers
Exploring acid jazz/funk drum and bass, Madfingers was conceived by Karan Joseph, and DCF is Lindsay Dmello’s project. Together, they produced music through studio jams which resulted in two EPs. The first act of the Goa Jazz Fest is a tribute to Karan Joseph and his project.
Pol Belardi’s Urban 5
Bassist Pol Belardi’s Luxemberg-based band Urban 5 brings groove and mixes it with jazz, soul and hip-hop. A exciting sound to watch out for, with the harmonies and power of Mara Minjoli’s voice, this band is known to make audiences dance.
‘Intriguing’ is the word The Guardian uses for Kefaya, calling it ‘a sound to look out for’. Kefaya is a musical collective which draws members from several nations and is led by London-based musicians and producers Giuliano Modarelli and Al MacSween. Kefaya promises interesting interpretations of cross-cultural influences in their sound.
Vasundhara Vee, who has an enthralling voice, has been a part of the independent music movement in India for several years. She is a soul singer who also explores funk, blues and jazz. She has collaborated with ensembles and has also performed with key Indian names like Louiz Banks, Loy Mendosa, Sanjay Divecha and others.
Florian Favre Trio
This trio started its musical journey a couple of years ago and has been a popular choice for music festivals across Europe and in New York. Their music has a mix of piano, bass and drums in the tradition of Swiss jazz styles, embellished with musical twists and surprises.
The Latination is a four-piece band consisting of Pradyumna Singh Manot, Premjit Dutta, Bijit Bhattacharya and French musician Emmanuel Simon. They have performed in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pondicherry and Chennai, and have received several accolades, with even music lovers calling them India’s most genuine Latin jazz outfit. Their blend of dance and jazz coupled with a soulful touch makes them interesting.
Erik Truffaz and Riatsu
French Trumpeter Erik Truffaz, known for combining elements of dance, hip hop, and rock and roll, has had a three-decade long musical career spanning across many musical genres and ensembles. For this jazz festival, he teams up with electronic artiste Shadaab Kadri also known as Riatsu. Because this is a jazz, hip-hop and electronica collaboration between India and France, this is one of the performances attendees will certainly look forward to.
Jojo Mayer and Nerve
Named in the list of 50 greatest drummers of all time, Jojo Mayer embodies the style and energy of new-age jazz. His music collective Nerve evolved from his New York Party scene experiments, which had their own devoted following. You can’t afford to miss this performance because of the style and funk it will offer.
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