Jazz India Circuit: Spreading The Word & Sound Of Jazz Across India

“Jazz has a glorious history in India – right from the grand ballrooms of colonial India to that momentous time in 1935, when Leon Abbey brought the first 8-piece band to Mumbai,” discerns Teamwork Arts co-founder, Sanjoy Roy. After amping up the beats in #OurCity at the Jazz India Circuit Launch Concert, Teamwork Arts is returning with JIC from February 17 to 18 at One Golden Mile. Placing the spotlight on the wizards behind the drum kit this edition, JIC is showcasing this percussion instrument at its best. While the Goa International Jazz Live Festival played host to the cutting-edge experimental jazz drummer – Jojo Mayer, the Delhi edition will witness Modern Drummer Hall of Fame awardee Dave Weckl headline. Bringing you the lowdown on the festival that is set to pulsate a storm in Delhi, #DSSCRecommends you clear up your calendar pronto!

A celebration of the classic sounds of jazz. A throwback to the golden era of music. An expedition to explore the full spectrum of this fascinating genre from across the world. Jazz India Circuit is all this and more. “As a genre, jazz has been blossoming and burgeoning in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, and Goa for a while now,” shares the affable gent. Harnessing the admiration for jazz budding across the country and providing a platform for aspiring musicians to showcase their skill, JIC aims to “cultivate many more connoisseurs and aficionados of this esoteric and magical form of music.” As we delve deep into the art that gets your foot tapping, Mr. Roy opines, “Jazz shares striking similarities with Indian classical music. They both thrive on improvisation, and Indian classical music also impacted a subgenre of jazz— free jazz.” With ventures like The Piano Man Jazz Club encouraging the growing music circuit of the capital city and artists like Bollyjazz pushing the boundaries, Delhi is embracing free jazz uninhibited.

Right: Dave Weckl; Left: Mohini Dey, Image: Dushyant Raval

Offering a stage for collaboration between indie and international artists, budding talent and veterans, JIC will witness Dave Weckl throbbing tunes with four of India’s finest fusion musicians coming together as ABSANDEY. “We will play an assortment of music, blending the East and West styles,” says the maestro regarded as ‘one of the 25 best drummers of all time’. Channelling his zeal and knowledge, Weckl’s portfolio boasts of dynamic and diverse drumming. Featuring violinist and film music composer Abhijith P. S. Nair, guitarist Sandeep Mohan, one of South India’s finest keyboard players Joe Johnson, and prodigy bassist Mohini Dey, ABSANDEY has an experimental approach in the works. “It’s not something people would be expecting,” shares the group. Staging a new jazz fusion genre style, their performance on February 18 is not to be missed.

Boasting of a stellar line up, Jazz India Circuit is all set to have you grooving through the weekend. Kick-starting the festival, 21-year-old Mumbai-based guitarist, Rhythm Shaw will be strumming the tunes that rocketed his CD as one of the highest grossing in Germany. Mapping his journey with acclaimed musicians A.R. Rahman, Gino Banks, and Zakir Hussain as mentors, this child prodigy possesses the rare ability to enthral the audience be it with a tabla or electric guitar. Shaw is not the only prodigy who will be taking the stage at JIC this edition. Prize-winning classical prodigy on the piano, John Law will be showcasing contemporary jazz music as part of his acclaimed trio Congregation. Hold up; the night doesn’t end there. Next up is Alex Jønsson, award-winning Danish guitarist, composer, and improviser. Nordic Master of Jazz awardee, Jønsson is a strong advocate of musical diversity and curiosity. Exploring the close intimacy of a living room, his third album, “Heart of Gold” is a live recording from a living-room concert in his old hometown, Aarhus.

Closing the circuit Karan Khosla Trio and The Diaspora House will take the stage on Sunday, February 18. Focussing on bebop, songwriter and guitarist Karan Khosla, bassist Ekaterina Aristova, and drummer Aditya Dutta will bring to limelight the growing music landscape of Delhi. The Diaspora House represents Jewish music in new arrangements, still preserving the unique sound of jazz and world music.

Spreading the word and sound of jazz, JIC will have Delhi grooving this weekend. And when the proposition is this alluring, you know we’ve already booked our tickets. See you there!