Mumbai to celebrate International Jazz Day with Louiz Banks
The fifth edition of International Jazz Day festival brings innovative Indian artistes to National Centre for the Performing Arts
Jazz as a genre is nearing the centenary glory of its presence in India. From the earliest of tunes heard in the country during the 1920s to the years following the declaration of the International Jazz Day in 2011, Mumbai has become a launchpad for these sounds. Famed pianist Louiz Banks (inset) —who has spearheaded all previous editions of the Jazz Day celebrations—once again showcases performers who’re sure to get music enthusiasts grooving.
“This year we decided to choose bandleaders who have come up with groundbreaking approaches to jazz renditions,” says the improviser, whose nine-member act includes tap dancer Rahul D’lima and singer Gary Lawyer, who will reinterpret jazz standards at the show.
Believe it when this pianist says that various influences ‘manage to creep into’ his creations without conscious attempts. It’s definitely an unbeknown blessing from having experimented with varied styles ranging from Hindustani to metal and funk to ghazals. “The Indian audience are well-acquainted with jazz, and I feel they come for gigs with an open mind,” says Anurag. Besides a cover of funk musician Thundercat’s Tron Song, expect the four-piece band, including celebrated drummer Andrew Kanga, to play one of Anurag’s own compositions scheduled to be recorded in Paris later this year.
This veteran vocalist brings with her the experience of having trained with artists like Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Peter Eldridge. Trained in both Indian and Western music, she weaves elements from the former into her vocal style. “There are a lot of similarities between Indian classical and jazz—with regards to ragas and modes, taals and time signatures,” says the artiste. Her set with three other musicians, including renowned bassist Dee Wood, will include tributes like My One and Only Love and Better Than Anything.
Jazz isn’t static, it’s an evolutionary musical form—so believes this Berklee-trained guitarist. Besides two solo albums—the latest of which fuses Indian and African folk elements—Dhruv has performed at MTV Coke Studio. “This genre borrows from the place where it lives and it’s natural. I want to offer a tribute to my formative influences through my compositions,” says the Mumbai-based artiste. Playing alongside four other musicians including Sheldon D’silva and Gino Banks, with whom he has a long association of over ten years, this musician plans to present compositions like Pop Quiz and Zawi D at the event.