What to expect from the World Jazz Festival happpening in Bengaluru

We speak to artistes Saskia Laroo and Alexander Beets who tell us what to expect... 
Saskia Laroo and Alexander Beets
Saskia Laroo and Alexander Beets

The World Jazz Festival is a treat for jazz lovers. This year the fest heads to Bengaluru. The one-day event will bring together international jazz artistes on one stage. Acts like Alexander Beets Quintet, Paul van Kessel, Nathalie Schaap and the Saskia Laroo Band will perform in the city. “This is a very special festival. We are featuring artists from different countries like the USA, the Netherlands and South Africa,” organiser Nandini Mahesh says, adding, “Bengaluru audience is very special to us. There is a substantial audience for jazz music. So, we decided to bring this very prestigious festival to our favourite city.” 

Saskia Laroo, a trumpet player from the Netherlands is one of the performers. She will be playing an innovative mix of genres in her performance. “This year, we have prepared a set that is a mix of jazz and hip-hop. I know a lot of jazz fans who don't like rap and at the same time there are a lot of hip-hop, rap guys who are not familiar with jazz. It's a challenge to appeal to both audiences. But I like to connect to different people. I try to compose in such a way that they feel like they belong together. And that's a mission of mine,” she tells us. Saskia has in the past been called 'Lady Miles Davis' --- a great honour. We ask her how she feels about this comparison. “Miles Davis is one of my big heroes, so it is a big responsibility to carry his name and his legacy,” she says, adding, “When I released my first album, I got reviews from America saying Miles Davis has come back to earth with the face of a white woman. But at the same time I'm Saskia Laroo, I'm my own personality.” 

Another artiste taking the stage is Dutch tenor saxophonist Alexander Beets. “Jazz music to me means freedom,” the artiste says. He will be playing songs from his new record. “I have made a new recording which is a tribute to the old legendary Texas tenors such as Gene Ammons, Ike Quebec, Houston Person and Stanley Turrentine. The new album is called Big Sounds: Forgotten Tenor Heroes of the Past,” he sums up.

Rs 500 upwards. June 3, 7.30 pm. At MLR Convention Centre, JP Nagar

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