If Norah Jones’ recent maiden concert in New Delhi set the mood for jazz music lovers of the city, the 3rd edition of the International Jazz Festival at Nehru Park ,
surely came as manna from the heavens – literally!
Set in the lush green environs of Nehru Park in Chankyapuri, the ICCR initiative festival took off on March 15 for a four-day jazz music extravaganza. This time the event was managed by Show Craft Productions.
After a short inaugural by the ICCR president, Dr Karan Singh, who played a short melody in the piano, which has been customary over the last two years, without much ado, the first band, New Bone from Krakow, Poland set the ball rolling.
New bone, fronted by trumpeter Tomasz Kudyk along with Pawel Kaczmarczyk (piano), Marcin slusarczyk (alto sax), Maciej Adamczak (bass), David Fortuna (drums) played melodies from their latest album ‘Destined.’ The piece Altanowa 18, was the most well received by the audience. It talked about the Tomasz’s ‘careless childhood’ experiences while growing up as a kid.
Immaculate unison of the trumpet and alto sax made for an easy listening enhanced by the brilliant hues of the green, blue and orange flashing beams from the stage. Other tunes such as ‘New Ballad For’, ‘At last Free’ and ‘We will See’ manifested Tomasz’s trumpet mastery peppered with impressive improvisations on the piano and immaculate bass and drums accompaniments.
Tomasz referred to American jazz greats such as Miles Davis, Roy Hargrove and Wynton Marsalis as his influences. “I try to listen to the roots of jazz music and try and give a modern touch to my compositions,” said Tomasz.
He likes to call New Bone music as modern jazz. He said he loved the Indian culture and was really looking forward to perform in Kashmir’s first Jazz festival. As a message to aspiring jazz musicians, he says, one has to love the music, practice a lot and want to play it!
Next up was Sylvie Bourban, from Switzerland, who looked stunning in a red dress and stunned the audience with her well trained voice and lively piano playing style.
Although her band members could not accompany her, her performance took off straight to the heavens as she sang songs in French and English with some Latino blend. But the most amazing moment in her performance came when she did some impressive scatting, reminiscent of the swing queen Ella Fitzgerald, with clean guitar accompaniment by guitar virtuoso Edwin Fernandes. Together they also improvised on jazz standard ‘Autumn Leaves.’ By the way, she told me that she was playing the piano on stage for the first time here in New Delhi.
Sylvie has a major in professional music from Berklee School of music and it’s been four years that she has been playing professionally. While in India she says she is looking forward to listen to some Indian classical music.
The final band for the day was the Oscar Acevedo Quartet from Colombia who played a mixture of Colombian music with jazz arrangements. Oscar (piano), Gina Savino (vocals), Raúl Platz bass) and Jose Camilo (drums) churned out jazz melodies with latino flavour in 'No voy a quedarme' (I’ am not going to stay), which showcased the best of the jazz-latino blend.
Gina’s raspy voice blended perfectly with Oscar’s soulful piano playing as she scatted, again bringing memories of the legend Ela Fitzgerald.
As the crowd wouldn’t let them go without an encore, they performed a version of ‘Pario la luna Contenido,’ as Gina wriggled her hips in a flamenco like style in between singing..and the crowds just loved it.
The band’s influence ranged from Ella Fitzgerald to Led Zepplin. Their performance is the first in Delhi out of Colombia. The band will also be performing in Kolkata.
Today, bands from India, Israel and Russian will be performing at the venue.