Lovers of be-bop, swing and dixieland have a lot to look forward to this weekend. The National Centre for Performing Acts (NCPA) will host their first annual jazz festival, JazzMatazz, from October 14 to 16.
“Mumbai used to be a hotspot for jazz, during the time Jazz Yatra was held at Rang Bhavan. But of late, we felt that there was a big lull in terms of performances by musicians here. We conceptualised this festival keeping that in mind,” says Romit Chatterjee, member, jazz committee, NCPA.
Legendary Indian jazz guitarist Carlton Kitto from Kolkatta, known for his virtuosity in the be-bop playing style, will be opening the festival with his ensemble. “It feels great to be back in the city to perform at the festival alongside musicians of high caliber,” says Kitto, who has, in the past, shared the stage with celebrated jazz pianist/composer Duke Ellington renowned for his famed tunes ‘Satin doll…’ and ‘In a sentimental mood…’ , when he visited India in 1950s.
Reminiscing about the time when jazz was like religion to musicians, Carlton says, “Back in those days, we’d practise hard. Be-bop was considered the most challenging genre within jazz. But these days, anything is labeled jazz and no one wants to pursue the authentic version.” JazzMatazz will also feature American trumpeter Jon Faddis, jazz-blues trio Three Ladies of Blues, Sri Lankan pianist Harsha Makalande and Cedar Walton Trio among others.