Delhi International Jazz Festival



The Indian Council for Cultural Relations organised its 3rd Delhi International Jazz Festival from 15th to 18th March this year. Day-1 saw performances by New Bone Quintet Band, Poland, Sylivie Bourban from Switzerland and Oscar Acevedo Quartet from Colombia. It was Sylvie’s first solo piano recital and she was ecstatic at having had the chance to perform in India. For all the jazz lovers, and even amateurs, the evening was beautiful.

The festival was held within the well-maintained lawns of Nehru Park, New Delhi, 6:30 pm onwards. Entry was free and most of the crowd seemed to have an understanding of how Jazz music works. Lip-smacking food items were available at the food courts, with the addition of local chaat walas and vendors selling tea, coffee, and chips. The ambience of the place, accompanied with twinkling stars overhead made it an awesome night to be spent with friends and family alike.

The second day of 3rd Delhi International Jazz Festival was not just an auditory treat, but a visually appealing one as well. The evening saw a great line up with UNK: The Radha Thomas Ensemble, India, Ararat-Israel, Imany-France, Oleg Butman Jazz Trio-Russia scheduled to enthral the audience. The audience came prepared with picnic baskets, mats, foldable chairs and even a smattering of wine and wineglasses. The best seating of the venue seemed to be the ground rather than the chairs, while the music was enjoyed by cuddling couples as the bands performed their romantic harmonies.

UNK belted out an interesting amalgamation of Indian classical-meets-western jazz music, performing songs from their recent album- Only have eyes for you. Ararat, a four membered Israeli based band led by Ofer Peled created an exotic mix of Middle Eastern and local influences. Employing the use of instruments such as tombak, Spanish cajon drum as well as didgeridoo and Turkish flutes, the band got the audience moving to their beats. Peled received a huge round of applause and cheer when he dedicated a song to the all Indian women translated ‘Kisses in the Sea.’ Imany, real name Nadia Mladjao, a rising star in the French music circuit mesmerized the audience with her deep, melodic voice and up-beat music. Imany and her troupe raised the energy level of the whole arena, performing their originals ‘Where Have You Been’, ‘Slow Down’, ‘Pray for Help’, ‘Please’ and ‘I’ve Got to Go’ as well as their version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. The most heartbreaking moment of the day was when Russia’s Oleg Butman Jazz trio took over the stage and just as they were warming up, the party came to an end due to exceeding of time permitted by the concerned authorities. This was the only black spot to a simply amazing evening.

The final day of the Jazz Festival saw exhilarating performances by three bands, two from India and one from South Africa. The festival opened with Toshanbar, India, followed by The New South Africa Jazz Collective. Out of all the three bands, the South African one stood out as they stuck to familiar tunes and jazz progressions, and blended it with their own style of musical rhythms. The first two songs, ‘Milele’ and ‘love’, were highly appreciated by the crowd. Their sensual number, ‘Patah Patah’ that was translated as ‘touch’ in English, was also well received by the crowd. The evening concluded with a brilliant performance by Louiz Banks, a Grammy Award nominated Jazz keyboardist and singer from India. The four-day Delhi International Jazz festival enthralled its enthusiastic audience, leaving them with the hope of even better performances in the years to come.

Surbhi Grover
([email protected])

Niharika Singh
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Vishakha Darbha
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Picture Credits: News.lotsbuzz.com