Featuring the best from across the world and contemporary experiments, the festival promises a spectacular evening .
Jazz doesn’t have to be in your wheelhouse (although it would be great if it did) for you to step into The Madras Jazz festival in the city this week. Not all of the five lakh people who attended the previous two editions were fans of the genre, organiser Edison Prithviraj reminds us. Although, by the time they stepped out, many were converted, he admits. The festival — touted as the only one of its kind in South India for jazz — is for music lovers, irrespective of their exposure to the genre. There are going to be revisits to the dog-eared pages of the Great American Songbook, even as the musicians are planning on pieces that flirt with contemporary genres and attempt different themes.
According to Mohini Dey, the 19-year-old bass shredding sensation, jazz in its pristine form doesn’t have many takers today. No mincing words here. “We need to change with the times. Jazz is very well-received when it is presented with other genres,” says the Mumbai-based musician. Her band, Generation, is planning on including pieces from Dey’s yet-to-be-titled upcoming album, wherein jazz will be presented with dubstep and techno sounds.
Meanwhile, Prithviraj believes it is not an isolated genre — in fact it is constantly evolving, he shares, and has come to include several sub-genres, including electro jazz, soul jazz, Cuban jazz, American jazz and Latin jazz. And with the patronage for the genre increasing, he soon plans to open a Madras Jazz Hub at the Unwind Centre — the space in Adyar that promotes music and artistes (of which he is the managing trustee).
Experimenting with sound
Kolkata-based guitarist Amyt Dutta, a regular at the Madras Jazz Festival, feels it is an all-encompassing genre. It is improvisation music in its essence, and is an umbrella term for a lot of musical influences like punk, he adds. His band will perform songs from his album, Ambiance De Danse, which he calls ‘more jazz than anything else’. The album won music lovers over with its notes of dissonance. “I describe my music as skronk — something that is about the disturbing side of life. Not just the scent of flowers, butterflies and honey bees,” he smiles.
For a glimpse of Latin jazz at the festival, there’s a performance by Italian drummer Matteo Fraboni’s trio. The team will include a piece from his recent album, Latino. Fraboni, who is working towards arranging a qawwali for his jazz quintet, says his trio will also feature classic compositions including Footprints, Caravan and You Don’t Know What Love Is, besides his own compositions.
Saturday-Sunday, at Phoenix MarketCity, 6.30-9 pm. Details: in.bookmyshow.com