Goa turns into a jazz hub

April 30, 2022 | 06:03 IST

Goa turns into a jazz hub

Goa is now increasingly becoming the center of jazz in the country with musicians moving in and playing in the various bars and restaurants. The Musicians talked about their experiences

It is a genre of music that is defined by improvisation. Jazz is undoubtedly one of the great art forms in the world. It has its roots in India in Mumbai and Kolkata where African American jazz musicians performed in the 1920s. Over a period of time, Goan musicians who picked it up introduced it into the music of hindi movie. Goan musicians were at the forefront in many ways in pushing this genre of music. Many eventually returned home and continued playing. The special appeal of Goa meant that musicians from all over came to Goa to play and stay for long periods. The love and appreciation of music is so unique to Goa, which makes it so attractive for musicians. Over time, it can be said that Goa is now an important center for jazz. You could even say that the state is the place to be. But like everything, the last two years have been terrible. The pandemic has ensured the destruction of the entertainment industry. Musicians were sitting at home twiddling their thumbs or trying to do something online. Now, after the lifting of the second lockdown, has jazz recovered in Goa? Are the number of shows and venues increasing? Can a musician now earn a decent amount of money at the end of the concert?

Sharon from Syndicate, a very popular group in Goa, said the coronavirus was still there but the situation on the ground had certainly improved. She said: “Jazz musicians come from all over the country because Goa was much more open. After the second confinement since October 12021, the clubs have multiplied and yes jazz is played. The situation is certainly improving. There are now new places in Benaulim and jazz evenings are organized. New musicians emerge and play in these places. The audience is a bit older listening to jazz. You have to remember that people come to Goa to have fun and they love to dance. You have to think of everything and please everyone. But yes, jazz is definitely back.

Salim John Sadiq is a blues guitarist from a mofussil town of West Bengal in Goa since January this year. He said he was invited by Colin D’cruz and was surprised by the reception from the musicians and his level of expertise had certainly improved. Speaking specifically about jazz, he said there are so many musicians playing this kind of music in the state and the number of gigs is definitely increasing. Goa, he said, has certainly been home to jazz musicians for quite some time and this trend will strengthen as the popularity of the genre increases further.

Sandhya D’Mello, who sings in Pune, said the genre is certainly gaining popularity in the state, indicating that she has been asked to sing for the jazz concert scheduled for today to celebrate the International Day of jazz. She said the genre was growing in popularity with people who now listen to musicians from the 50s and 50s. Musicians, she said, also enjoyed playing these compositions.

He is undoubtedly one of the most active musicians in the state. Colin D Cruz said, “Goa is flying after the pandemic. Many businesses that have been affected by the pandemic are now recovering safely in Goa. I know many restaurateurs from other cities who have settled in Goa. My jazz trio is invited to perform in some of these new places, but I’m very picky about where I play. Right now I’ve stuck to four gigs a week at some top properties where we’ve played to enthusiastic audiences. Goa has produced some of India’s greatest jazz musicians; many of them are of international renown”. He said the jazz scene in India was in Kolkata, but he was sure everything was in Goa. He went so far as to say that Goa has become a global jazz hub with the number of international jazz virtuosos who have decided to settle in Goa. Colin said: “Grammy-winning jazz legend Henry Threadgill had moved to Goa at one point. It’s quite common to find a global jazz giant walking into one of our local gigs and jamming with us. These virtuosos raise the bar for us and often inspire us to do even better than our best. Goa has probably the largest number of music venues in the world, coupled with a relaxed lifestyle and beautiful surroundings and it’s easy to see why so many artists choose to settle in Goa”.

Anushka Countinho, who is from Australia but now based in Goa, said: “There has definitely been a surge of interest in jazz and other genres of music after the pandemic. I believe more people want to go out and enjoy the buzz that live music brings. Being in Sydney, Australia, the music industry is slowly coming back to life and there are some fantastic shows and performances planned for the rest of the year. I have been in Goa for two months now and enjoyed attending many shows with my friends and family in North and South Goa”.

Goa is undoubtedly a center of great music and musicians from all over the country and increasingly the world come to settle down and play. We can only hope that this trend continues.

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