From the classroom to the concert stage, a history of jazz
In 2013, director Ramón Tort won the award for best feature film at the Lumières. Camera. To help. festival in Texas for “A film about children and music”. The story was real and inspiring, about a group of under-18 kids from Barcelona sharing the stage with jazz giants like Jesee Davis and Wycliffe Gordon.
Bengaluraians are in for a treat with the young and eclectic Sant Andreu Jazz Band (SAJB) performing in the city.
The group is made up of 23 musicians aged 10 to 21. They can play and sing American jazz/pop standards, including Dixieland, big band swing, bebop, Brazilian bossa nova classics, and traditional Spanish or French songs.
During an e-mail interaction, SAJB founder-director Joan Chamorro recalls the journey of the group which was born out of a music class. An accomplished musician, Joan masters instruments ranging from bass to baritone saxophone.
Students at the Escola Municipal de Musica de Sant Andreu school in Barcelona were studying classical music and weren’t very familiar with jazz until Joan came onto the scene.
Joan has always loved teaching and decided to teach them classical jazz. “I listened to a lot of good jazz numbers and gave references from renowned musicians such as Johnny Hodges, Ben Webster and Lester Yount,” he recalls of his teaching methodology.
Ask him why he chose jazz and the 59-year-old musician from Barcelona replies: “There are certain elements that attract musicians, especially young people. Jazz music sounds alive, and even though it’s an old song, there’s room for improvisation. Jazz has about 40 subgenres, from bop to swing to funk.
Initially, a handful of members performed recitals in classrooms, hotel lobbies, and ordinary venues. Things started to look up in 2009 when they released their first live CD/DVD ‘Jazzing: Live at Casa Fuster’ with Andrea Motis, who started in the classroom and became an established Spanish jazz singer and trumpeter. .
2010 was their breakthrough year. They have performed in more than 20 festivals, including Valls, Terrassa, Girona, Barcelona, Platja d’Aro, in famous venues such as El Jamboree, Palau de la Música Catalana, JazzSi, Hotel Casa Fuster, and alongside artists internationals like Dick Oatts and Ken Peplowski.
Today, more than 40 CDs, 12 jazzings (some of which are double, triple or quadruple) and 17 CDs from the Joan Chamorro Presenta collection are part of their discography.
“We managed to make the group work without the help of any institution. We don’t receive any payment for any band member to attend classes, rehearsals and recordings,’ Joan signs.
They will perform at Windmills Craftworks, Whitefield, September 21-25. Details: windmills-india.com/#music