Jazz music in India is promoting cross-cultural dialogue among various countries, says musician Aditya Balani
Music exists across all borders and all generations. It is a way of expressing and communicating which contributes to a better mutual understanding between people and their different cultures.
World Jazz Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of the universal and multicultural nature of jazz that brings cultures together and inspires innovation and creative freedom. It has been an integral part of Indian music culture for decades. Jazz evolved in 1920s elite clubs of Bombay. After Independence, it gradually found its way into the Bollywood industry, blending easily with classical Indian music, forming Indo- jazz an emerging genre. These days music institutes like Global Music Institute are trying to pioneer a fusion of Indian traditional music and jazz by promoting cross culture musical dialogue through its diverse local, national and international faculty and student community.
Jazz is an art form that embraces all cultures. It is the best example of how to explain to the world that no matter where you come from and what language you speak.
Aditya Balani, a jazz musician who wears many hats as a composer, guitarist, singer-songwriter, music producer and educator says “During the 1930s to the 1950s jazz music permeated the musical landscape of India and its influence, if anything, has only become stronger. Jazz is a way of life, a force, and a way of being. Considering the fact that this genre originated as a voice against discrimination and for advocating human rights, it has, over the years, become a strong force in promoting cross-cultural dialogue among various countries. Music can transcend geographical boundaries and no other music form stands proof to this statement than perhaps jazz itself. Youngsters today are more open to different forms of music and their interest to understand more about jazz is heartening. Local musicians are also reaching out to a wider audience through their albums. Although music evolves with time, and there is a change in people’s tastes and perceptions, jazz is definitely here to stay”.