At the Jazz Utsav last year, Dutch trumpet player Saskia Laroo blew her audience away by blending jazz with styles such as funk, bebop, reggae and hip-hop. Laroo promised to return with an entourage of musicians from her hometown and sure enough, tonight the she will take to the stage with over ten other jazz musicians.
“I’ve performed in India on several occasions since 2004,” says Laroo. “Initially, I was pleasantly surprised by the kind of following jazz had in India. In Europe, we’re exposed only to Indian classical music, so I assumed that jazz would not have many listeners here,” she adds.
Tonight, Laroo will be seen jamming with her band, a DJ as well as some Indian musicians. Jazz electro artist DJ Maestro will be the opening act for this event, which features everything from an Antillean singer to jazzy tunes infused with hip-hop. “Tonight will showcase all aspects of Dutch jazz. The DJs that comprise this group will guarantee that dancers won’t be disappointed,” feels Floor Visser of the Dutch Jazz Expeditions, a non-profit initiative that hopes to promote and share the cultural wealth of Dutch jazz musicians with the world.
“The Dutch Jazz Expedition is not only about concerts, but also about bringing the jazz networks together. We also have network meetings, blend sessions (with Indian artists) and hold Jazz workshops,” adds Visser.
At the end of their individual sets, the 12 Dutch artistes will be seen jamming with six Indian counterparts including pianist Tala Faral, guitarist Dhruv Ghanekar and drummer Adrian D'Souza. “There are so many sides to this concert, everybody will find something to their liking. I’m especially curious about the blend session at the end, I want to see what Indian and Dutch artists have in common and where they differ,” says Visser.
Dutch Jazz Expedition featuring 12 jazz artistes will perform tonight at Blue Frog, Lower Parel, 9 pm onwards. Entry is free.