Pointing out that jazz and Indian classical music have a lot in common, American trombonist Steve Turre, best known for his unique ability to make music from seashells, claimed that he was inspired by Indian maestros, Ravi Shankar and Bismillah Khan.
"I have studied Indian music a little bit and am particularly amazed by the sound of the Sarangi. The last time I had performed in India was in 1984, so I am glad to finally be back here," said Turre, who will play at a jazz festival at the National Centre for Performing Arts, Nariman Point, on Saturday.
Jazzmatazz, a three-day festival that began on Friday, hopes to revive jazz in Mumbai by bring together well-known jazz artistes from around the world and expose more young people to genre by way of special student discounts.
On Friday, the artistes came together for a discussion on jazz music, its history and its relevance in India today.
Joanne Bell, member of the trio, The Three Ladies of Blues, spoke of the effect that jazz had in emancipating women in the early twentieth century. "Women were not even allowed to sing the same lyrics as men, but when they had their own performances, they used their music to mirror real life and empower other women," she said.The artistes agreed that the key element in jazz is the depth of feeling it explores.
"Jazz is a powerful medium to express various aspects of life, be it suffering or happiness. I have a particular fondness for introducing Asian elements into my music, and I hope it will be well received at the festival," said Harsha Makalanda, a pianist from Sri Lanka.