Delhi-based band Bollyjazz will enliven your evening at CC and FC on Dec 4
Kick off the winter festive season with a high octane musical night with Bollyjazz at CC&FC
Making your Saturday evening lit by adding a high dose of jazz will be a homegrown seven-member collective — Bollyjazz. The Delhi-based band that adds a refreshing twist to yesteryear Hindi numbers is led by Nikhil Mawkin and Nathalie Ramirez Tovar. They will be kicking off the annual ‘Turning on the Christmas light’ ceremony at CC & FC. The musical evening is being organised by Indulge, The Morning Standard along with Senco Gold and Diamonds, Rangoli, Ranjh, Goodrick Tea and Sky LED as associate partners. The hospitality partner for the event is NX Hotel. The founder of the 10-year-old music outfit, Mawkin, gives us a lowdown on the soirée.
How does it feel performing in Kolkata and how discerning do you think the audience is here?
We feel very happy to perform in Kolkata and we find people here to be very receptive to different forms of music. Being a cultural city, we hope people can appreciate this unique project. Some of our favourite jazz acts have come out from Kolkata, which leads us to believe that jazz has more support in this part of India. We hope the audience will accept us here. Blending jazz with Hindi film music is so refreshing.
What is it that led to this beautiful synthesis?
The idea of Bollyjazz started when I returned to India after studying at The Berklee College of Music. Having realised that jazz instrumentation already existed in Hindi film music between the ’60s and ’70s; I wanted to move away from the club remixes of the existing songs. So, I took a new approach that would keep alive the essence of a live performance in a jazz context.
How has the band evolved in these ten years?
In the past ten years, the ensemble has grown in many ways. Currently, we are a seven-piece band with Nathalie Ramirez on traverse flute, Chie Nishikori on the trombone, Fabio Carlucci on the trumpet, Maarten Visser on Saxophone, me on guitar and vocals, Bhaskar Gurung on bass and Shantanu Sudharshan on drums. Each one of us has knowledge of different forms of music, from jazz to Western classical and even Hindustani classical music, which we try to use creatively while performing as Bollyjazz.
What’s the playlist for the evening like?
We have a very special show prepared for the evening. We will not only be playing songs from our Bollyjazz setlist but also add some of our favourite North and South American jazz standards.
Which are your most in-demand songs?
While everyone has their own choice, Dil Deke Dekho seems to be the song that always pulls people to the stage. Shola Jo Bhadke in our samba arrangement also tops the list.
We are now working on bringing together more singers to the ensemble. We also want to do more recordings in Mexico, using the Big Band orchestra setting, and perhaps even combining some Latin rhythmic elements with these songs.
Bollyjazz will be performing at CC&FC on December 4 at 7pm.