Jazz India Circuit 2017-18 Grand Finale leaves audiences in awe

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New Delhi: Jazz India Circuit’s 2017-18 season culminated on Saturday, March 17th, at One Golden Mile in the National Capital, with an evening bursting with talent, intensity and the sharp flavour of freedom synonymous with jazz. Headlined by Grammy-nominated Jamison Ross, the concert also featured a mind-blowing performance by students and teachers from One World College of Music, which was followed by a collaboration between veteran Brazilian composer, pianist and singer Jim Porto and Still Waters, and left audiences clamouring for more.

Produced and presented by pioneering entertainment company Teamwork Arts, the 2017-18 season of the Jazz India Circuit was all about getting into the groove, the subtleties of rhythm and the power of percussion with legendary jazz drummers headlining an electrifying series of concerts across the country. The JIC 2017-18 season has brought to India some of the world’s finest percussionists and drummers; the season began with Scandinavian drumming exponent Joost Lijbaart performing at the JIC Launch Concert at Gurugram, Jojo Mayer headlining the Goa International Jazz Live Festival and the first of the twin concerts in Delhi featuring Dave Weckl.

JIC’s season finale opened with an extraordinary performance by the Gurugram-based One World College of Music, which provides interactive and experiential learning for both musicians and theatre students. The students took to the stage along with their teachers and treated everyone to original music composed by them, leaving audiences entranced. Talking of their experience, one of the students said, “It was quite magical to perform at the opening act. Jazz is something that really allows me to express myself, there is a lot of freedom for expression in jazz and an event like this makes people aware of the fact that jazz is alive in Delhi, in India. “

The evening progressed with a performance by veteran composer, pianist and singer, Jim Porto from Brazil, who combines jazz with the infectious beats of Samba and the depth of Afro-funk, creating a mélange. Porto collaborated with one of India’s foremost drummers, Lester Godinho, and his band, Still Waters. Talking about the importance of JIC and his experience of performing in Delhi, Lester Godinho said, “Jazz India Circuit is doing something that this country really needs: giving a platform to renowned artistes as well as amateurs. We have tremendous talent, just that it hasn’t been trapped and harnessed. I think the team organizing this deserves a huge round of applause and appreciation for the work they are doing.”

The spectacular finale featured a potent and dynamic soundscape where Grammy-nominated percussionist Jamison Ross performed a combination of music from his debut album Jamison and recently released All for One. A composer, an arranger, a vocalist and drummer, Jamison took listeners on a musical journey that unified his drumming abilities and vocal assets. Commenting on what jazz means to him and this initiative by Teamwork Arts, Ross said, “Jazz is life, its freedom; jazz is the spontaneous thing that you can’t count on, the thing that you plan, the thing that you feel, it’s the essence of life that happens through music. It was inspiring for us to look at the audiences and see the smiling faces. Whenever you have a festival that brings artistes like myself, Dave Weckl, Jojo Mayer, into one city, for people to come and enjoy, what you are doing is sailing into the culture of the city.” The performance brought the audience to its feet as they clung to every beat and begged for more. Having received a standing ovation, the performance was extended on demand and ended with Jamison performing an encore of two of his most-loved songs – Call Me and Deep Down in Florida.

Commenting on this year’s journey, Sanjoy Roy, M.D, Teamwork Arts said, “People often mistake jazz to be a thing of the past, from the Jazz Age of the 1920s. But more than any other form of music, it is dynamic and a work in progress. At JIC, our endeavour is to provide music-lovers a taste of one of the richest forms of music. JIC was launched with the dream of bringing together jazz musicians of different regions and age-groups and showcase new talent along with seasoned players to embody the heady spirit of jazz.”

Audiences went home sated and awestruck as curtains drew on the JIC 2017-18 season.