International Jazz Day in Goa The mood is festive at the Garcia da Orta garden, recipe named after a legendary Jewish botanist of the colonial era. Elderly women in floral dresses mingle with teenagers running around a stage set beneath a white pergola. A attractive woman in an orange sphagetti top chats animatedly to a… Read more »

Concert in the Park

by Goa Streets

International Jazz Day in Goa

The mood is festive at the Garcia da Orta garden, recipe named after a legendary Jewish botanist of the colonial era. Elderly women in floral dresses mingle with teenagers running around a stage set beneath a white pergola. A attractive woman in an orange sphagetti top chats animatedly to a ‘hippie’ in multicoloured polka dotted pants. Birds throng the evening air, a prelude to the music to come. A mango drops into the lap of a gent seated under a tree, but no major harm is done. Laughter all around.

Last year UNESCO declared the 30th of April as International Jazz Day and Jazz Goa, a group promoting jazz and live music, celebrated it with a concert in the park. This year too, Jazz Goa at the Jardim Garcia de Orta in Panjim grooved to the music of artists from Goa, across India and other countries. This year, the main concert took place in Istanbul, as Turkey was the host country for the Jazz Day celebrations. Jazz Goa’s director Colin D’Cruz got in touch with UNESCO, requesting for India as the next host country, with Panjim as host city. He was informed that it could be possible in 2015. “This would be a huge event for India and Goa where musicians from all over the world have found an inspiring home,” says Colin.

 

Natalie Matos jams with musicians of Jazz Junction

Ultra Brass Sound, an ensemble of wind musicians from Panjim, opens the concert. It’s a slow start for the event, as the rendition is rusty. Things pick up quickly, though, with the arrival on stage of Chico Fonseca, a veteran Goan singer, singing Portuguese, English and Konkani songs, plucking away on an acoustic guitar.

Zezinho Fernandes, a bespectacled guitarist-singer, is popular among the locals. He belts out several Spanish and Portuguese numbers, joined by a lady striking a cowbell.

The impromptu open-mic mood is evident as a friend of the genial host Raymond Albuquerque does some solos. Quinton Creado from Mahim croons Cheating Heart, Blueberry Hill and All of Me, accompanied by Mumbai-based Desmond Taylor on the guitar.

But Taylor and his fellow guitarist Barry Murray really blow the audience next, with beautiful renditions of Cavatina, the theme from the film Deerhunter, and a Simon & Garfunkel classic – Mrs. Robinson. The lead work and vocal harmonies are lovely, and it is evident that these gentlemen from Mumbai are a seasoned duo.

An exuberant Varun Carvalho goes solo next, singing his original compositions ‘Set Me Free’ and ‘Amche Goa’, with the percussionist Carlos Gonsalves thumping on a simple wooden box.

 

Jagadish of the Moon Arra group

The lady in the orange top gets on stage with a box guitar. She is Natalie Matos, a British folk singer, scheduled to fly home the next day. Her voice is powerful, carrying her songs effortlessly. “Hang on to our rhythm, manifest the stars,” she sings. She has a red flower in her hair. After another, a slower song, she pulls Colin D’Cruz, Carlos and Sancho Menezes, a keyboardist on stage to jam on two songs – ‘Free’ and ‘Goddess’.

“Will Monserate be playing?” asks the gent seated next to me. He was passing by and dropped in. The Monserate Brothers are Goan musicians, popular for their blowing mettle. They’re not here today.

The Moon Ara Duo from Bangalore are next. Jagdish on the guitar and Madhuri on the vocals are usually part of a larger ensemble. They open with an Indo-jazz fusion song. Madhuri captures the night – “Birds flying high, you know how I feel…” – her vocal range sweeps from a deep bass to a shrill high. An upbeat swingy track is next ‘You Get a D in Love’. Jagdish come into his own in a jam with Colin D’Cruz with a mind blowing interpretation of the Beatles classic Norwegian Woods.

 

Christmas Marwitz aka Ping Pong and accompanist

A strange percussionist then sets up an African xylophone on stage. He has a bongo strapped on too. “My name is Ping Pong . But I am not Chinese. I am a hippie, I have been in Goa for 40 years.” The crowd cheers.

As Christian Marwitz aka Ping Pong sets up his stuff, he tells the audience – “A percussion player plays an instrument. But he also plays the larger instrument, the Panjim city,” referring to the echoes from the houses around.

He throbs away at the xylophone of little pots for a while, and then enters the audience, pounding at his bongo. “Are you tired?” he exhorts the crowd to sing along. “No we aren’t” is the crowd’s refrain. “Then let’s go!” he replies. These three lines comprise the shortest lyrics for the night, yelled repeatedly by Ping Pong and the motley gathering. No mike here, no electronics, just one shaman and his tribe, a true hippie moment!

Jazz Junction occupies centre stage next, with Colin D’Cruz on bass guitar, Lester Godinho on drums, Benoy Rai on lead guitar, Jason Quadros on keyboard. Their trademark groove ‘Jazz Goa Blues’ sweetens the air. Susan Rocha takes the vocals and Johnny Fernandes and Simon Hewitt do guest turns on the saxophone. The aficionados linger on, soaking it all in. It’s a great night for jazz.

The mood is festive at the Garcia da Orta garden, named after a legendary Jewish botanist of the colonial era. Elderly women in floral dresses mingle with teenagers running around a stage set beneath a white pergola. A attractive woman in an orange sphagetti top chats animatedly to a ‘hippie’ in multicoloured polka dotted pants. Birds throng the evening air, a prelude to the music to come. A mango drops into the lap of a gent seated under a tree, but no major harm is done. Laughter all around.

Last year UNESCO declared the 30th of April as International Jazz Day and Jazz Goa, a group promoting jazz and live music, celebrated it with a concert in the park. This year too, Jazz Goa at the Jardim Garcia de Orta in Panjim grooved to the music of artists from Goa, across India and other countries. This year, the main concert took place in Istanbul, as Turkey was the host country for the Jazz Day celebrations. Jazz Goa’s director Colin D’Cruz got in touch with UNESCO, requesting for India as the next host country, with Panjim as host city. He was informed that it could be possible in 2015. “This would be a huge event for India and Goa where musicians from all over the world have found an inspiring home,” says Colin.

Ultra Brass Sound, an ensemble of wind musicians from Panjim, opens the concert. It’s a slow start for the event, as the rendition is rusty. Things pick up quickly, though, with the arrival on stage of Chico Fonseca, a veteran Goan singer, singing Portuguese, English and Konkani songs, plucking away on an acoustic guitar.

Zezinho Fernandes, a bespectacled guitarist-singer, is popular among the locals. He belts out several Spanish and Portuguese numbers, joined by a lady striking a cowbell.

The impromptu open-mic mood is evident as a friend of the genial host Raymond Albuquerque does some solos. Quinton Creado from Mahim croons Cheating Heart, Blueberry Hill and All of Me, accompanied by Mumbai-based Desmond Taylor on the guitar.

But Taylor and his fellow guitarist Barry Murray really blow the audience next, with beautiful renditions of Cavatina, the theme from the film Deerhunter, and a Simon & Garfunkel classic – Mrs. Robinson. The lead work and vocal harmonies are lovely, and it is evident that these gentlemen from Mumbai are a seasoned duo.

An exuberant Varun Carvalho goes solo next, singing his original compositions ‘Set Me Free’ and ‘Amche Goa’, with the percussionist Carlos Gonsalves thumping on a simple wooden box.

The lady in the orange top gets on stage with a box guitar. She is Natalie Matos, a British folk singer, scheduled to fly home the next day. Her voice is powerful, carrying her songs effortlessly. “Hang on to our rhythm, manifest the stars,” she sings. She has a red flower in her hair. After another, a slower song, she pulls Colin D’Cruz, Carlos and Sancho Menezes, a keyboardist on stage to jam on two songs – ‘Free’ and ‘Goddess’.

“Will Monserate be playing?” asks the gent seated next to me. He was passing by and dropped in. The Monserate Brothers are Goan musicians, popular for their blowing mettle. They’re not here today.

The Moon Ara Duo from Bangalore are next. Jagdish on the guitar and Madhuri on the vocals are usually part of a larger ensemble. They open with an Indo-jazz fusion song. Madhuri captures the night – “Birds flying high, you know how I feel…” – her vocal range sweeps from a deep bass to a shrill high. An upbeat swingy track is next ‘You Get a D in Love’. Jagdish come into his own in a jam with Colin D’Cruz with a mind blowing interpretation of the Beatles classic Norwegian Woods.

A strange percussionist then sets up an African xylophone on stage. He has a bongo strapped on too. “My name is Ping Pong . But I am not Chinese. I am a hippie, I have been in Goa for 40 years.” The crowd cheers.

As Christian Marwitz aka Ping Pong sets up his stuff, he tells the audience – “A percussion player plays an instrument. But he also plays the larger instrument, the Panjim city,” referring to the echoes from the houses around.

He throbs away at the xylophone of little pots for a while, and then enters the audience, pounding at his bongo. “Are you tired?” he exhorts the crowd to sing along. “No we aren’t” is the crowd’s refrain. “Then let’s go!” he replies. These three lines comprise the shortest lyrics for the night, yelled repeatedly by Ping Pong and the motley gathering. No mike here, no electronics, just one shaman and his tribe, a true hippie moment!

Jazz Junction occupies centre stage next, with Colin D’Cruz on bass guitar, Lester Godinho on drums, Benoy Rai on lead guitar, Jason Quadros on keyboard. Their trademark groove ‘Jazz Goa Blues’ sweetens the air. Susan Rocha takes the vocals and Johnny Fernandes and Simon Hewitt do guest turns on the saxophone. The aficionados linger on, soaking it all in. It’s a great night for jazz.

 

 

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