Jazz it up classical style

Goa Plus-10th September ’04

In just a few weeks, Jazz Goa has got itself firmly in the saddle of the live music platform in Goa. And we have God to thank since, very often, whatever on does just does not take off and you can well imagine why that happens!
Having said that, it’s is a fact that the love of countless musicians and music fans from all over has made this job that much easier and interesting. With jazz music gaining ground in Goa, my classical music friends have been stirred into getting their act together. Wouldn’t it be interesting to have different genres of music alive and throbbing in our music rich state?
I too have been trained in classical music, and as a child have had moments of great joy on the piano. However i would have been that much happier if i could have been encouraged to improvise and have a bit of fun on the piano rather than be regimented into a straight jacket a la classical music of that time. which brings us to world famous classical greats such as Stephen Bishop, classical pianist who also played pop sound tracks for movies, Andre Pravin, conductor and concert pianist at the London Symphony Orchestra who also enjoyed himself on jazz piano and drums. Nigel Kennedy, top classical violinist who played jazz violin to pay for his classical studies, Leila Josefowicz, exciting young classical violinist who would throw caution to the winds when she played at jazz clubs where she even tried her golden hands on drums, the list could go on!
The wealth of music emanates from the classical mould and by all standards Goa is very rich in music because of that. So, why can’t we have classical concerts in an informal setting where music lovers can rub shoulders with others and share information and learning? In this way, we can develop greater interest in young musicians as well as music lovers, which will eventually pave the way for commercial viability, which is so important. revolution has to start at the grassroots and in whichever way we at Jazz Goa can help including arranging prime venues almost free of cost to dedicated people, or helping out in publicising the events or even trying to work towards financial viability via sponsors, we would be delighted. Jazz goa has just announced it’s intention to hosting a Heritage Jazz Yatra, which aims to take music to heritage homes in Goa. The core idea is to blend the music and architectural heritage of our lovely state. Maybe, we could have something that unites jazz and classical music?
In the last few months, it has been a pleasure to have people writing in with support and kind words of encouragement and a big thanks to everyone who did so. I would like to take that further by encouraging people to write in with their suggestions including putting forth projects that could take the ‘live’ format forward. I believe that Goa has those special attributes that can make music its USP (unique selling proposition) in its brand building and this can only happen when there are discussions, exchange of ideas and co-operation among the people of Goa. So, when do we start?

Armando Gonsalves

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