Just in time for the holidays, Delhi gets a perfect reason to celebrate some amazing music as an interesting music festival -- Giants of Jazz – is here to charm the capital with a fabulous lineup of soulful jazz musicians and bands. The 10-day-long festival is a curation of selected artists from India and foreign countries; and, for anyone who wants to understand and learn about the fine nuances of jazz this might be a perfect occasion to drop by the cozy venue till December 8, 2018. The festival features bands like the Supergombo, Klein, Mnd Flo, The Bluegrass Journeymen, Máté Palásti, World Service Project, Gauthier Toux, Vasundhra Vee, and a finale by Max Clouth Clan. The fourth edition of this festival is a concentrated effort to create awareness for this genre of music, and it is in continuation of the annual efforts from the promoters to bring great music to the Indian market and create a platform that respects the musicians. Arjun Sagar Gupta, founder of the Piano Man, who is hosting the event with the combination of support from various embassies, mentions, “For someone who doesn't necessarily listen to jazz, this is a great opportunity to identify a single day to start your journey into the world of jazz. We have worked hard to build a scene for jazz in India for years and with crazy amounts of planning to fit it all together. GOJ is something truly special and unique, and over the years we have been promoting a culture that has two main points -- the artist-first approach and the silent song. The artist-first approach means that everyone in our ecosystem, from the audience to our staff, understands that in this space, the artist gets the most importance. We work hard to sensitise our patrons, our service team and our partners on the importance of paying respect to the musicians that spend years honing their craft. While the silent song is a tradition that goes back almost all the way to the inception year. The performing artist chooses one song in their set to be the ‘silent song’ -- for the duration of this song, we request and ensure the complete attention of everyone present; service is stopped, doors are sealed and pin drop silence is secured. When this is achieved, the artist or artists on stage hear the music better and the performance reaches another level altogether.”
“We feel the biggest need of the hour for the promotion of jazz is the allocation of funds. We need companies to help sponsor these festivals just as much as Bollywood and EDM events are supported. With access to resources, a lot more can be done, we can then work on trying to bring on board some of the most incredible and known artists in the field, which results in a much harder push for the genre in India,” adds Gupta, as he gives a real take on the current status of jazz music scene in India.
A young band from the US, Mnd Flo, who performed at the festival recently, mentions that this was their first performance in Delhi as part of their month-long tour of India covering 11 cities. The band spokesperson informs, “There’s nothing like an intimate club space where you can feel connected with the audience and include them in the performance. Indeed the feedback we get from the audience is an integral part of the energy we give back. It is a shared, synergistic experience that we enjoy with our audience. We think jazz has definitely evolved with the times taking on a youthful and dynamic energy that allows one to be oneself and connect with a broad audience. There’s plenty of room for many approaches and styles within the current scene, and so we see more and more diversity in terms of cultural influences and borrowing from other genres, as well as creative uses of technology to seamlessly blend electronic and acoustic soundscapes.”
Whereas, for Germany-based jazz collective Max Clouth Clan, who will be performing on the last day of the festival, this is an exciting occasion to connect with jazz lovers from India. The band spokesperson says, “We’ve been looking forward to being part of - a coming together of experimental music and culture. For us as artists – combining both worlds (German and Indian) – that is what's exciting and we hope to bring in that vibe to our performance at GOJ. For us it’s not such much about harmonization of both lands, rather a combination of both worlds that results in a very unique, interesting, sometimes harmonic,or disharmonic synthesis.We think it’s because our music has elements of both the Western and the Eastern soundscapes and people can always connect with something in our music - the groove, the virtuosity, the Indian or jazz elements. We will be playing music from our latest album, Kamaloka, for the first time to Delhi audiences. The album progresses like a movie - the protagonists travel to distant lands and engage in encounters; the main actor nevertheless always stays with one leg at home. We’ll also be performing our latest soundtrack ‘Lucifer Rising / Surrender to What Is Which’ is a collaboration with the incredibly talented Indian singer and flutist Varijashree Venugopal.”