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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jazz music in India originated in the 1920s in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) and in Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta), where African-American jazz musicians performed.[1] They inspired Goan musicians who then imbibed jazz into the sounds of India’s Hindi film music industry. There has been much interaction between Indian music and jazz music. An active jazz scene exists today in cities like Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), Pune, Delhi, Goa, and Kolkata.

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  • ✪ Zakir Hussain and Dave Holland: Crosscurrents | JAZZ NIGHT IN AMERICA
  • ✪ kyabaat - indian jazz music SISONIDO
  • ✪ Best of Indian and Western Classical Fusion | Universal Notes (World Premiere) | Music of India


America’s gift to the world is jazz. It has really changed the way people look at music all over the world. ♪ [Christian McBride] Tonight, tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain and English bassist Dave Holland celebrate musical connections between Indian classical and Western jazz in a supergroup called Crosscurrents. [Hussain] The project kind of came into my mind simply because I just was looking for any instances where proper homage was paid to influence of jazz over musics from all over the globe. ♪ [Dave Holland] African-American music and the Indian tradition are the two great improvising traditions, I think, that we have in the world, you know? They share a lot of commonality. [McBride] Jazz reached its golden age in India from the 1930s through the '50s, but it took the Western world a little longer to develop an infatuation for Indian music. [Hussian] America's love affair with India was at its peak in the late '60s. [McBride] On tabla, that’s Zakir’s father, Alla Rakha. It kind of started at the Monterey Pop Festival, where Ravi Shankar and my father played. It was a big hit there, and after that everybody wanted a sitar and a tabla and a jacket and long hair and whatnot. [McBride] Even though he entered the Western limelight after Monterey, Ravi Shankar had been collaborating with Western jazz musicians years earlier. ♪ This is considered the first Indian jazz crosscurrent recording. It’s called Improvisations, with Ravi Shankar, flutist Bud Shank and bassist Gary Peacock. But while Indian music thrived in the West, jazz faltered in the East. To keep the genre alive, pianist Louiz Banks taught and performed jazz around the country, earning himself the nickname “The Godfather of Indian Jazz.” You’ll see Louiz on the piano bench tonight, playing alongside his son Gino Banks on drums. This cross-cultural supergroup also features American saxophonist Chris Potter, Indian guitarist Sanjay Divecha, and one of Bollywood’s most famous singers, Shankar Mahadevan. ♪ It’s a continuation of the century-long handshake between Western jazz and Indian classical. [Holland] You know it's the idea of bringing these two flows of music that have so many connecting points. [Hussain] That's what crosscurrents is now. Just acknowledgment of the currents flowing in so many different directions, not just now, but for centuries pointing to this idea that at the core we are all one. And art is, has done nothing but said that for centuries, and let's hope it sticks in this century.



In India, jazz was probably first performed regularly in the metropoles Calcutta and Bombay in the early or middle 1920s.[2][3] The era from the 1930s to the 1950s is often called as the golden age of jazz in India. It began with jazz musicians like Leon Abbey, Crickett Smith, Creighton Thompson, Ken Mac, Roy Butler, Teddy Weatherford (who recorded with Louis Armstrong), and Rudy Jackson who toured India to avoid the racial discrimination they faced in the United States.[4] In the winter of 1935, Leon Abbey, a violinist from Minnesota brought the first 8-piece band to Bombay.[5]

In the 1930s, India’s freedom struggle against the British had reached a crucial stage. Bombay was a rising metropolis. There was also a great sense of political freedom, which was being transmitted into the arts. The ballrooms of five-star hotels and in the nightclubs of major Indian cities were jazz centres. As nationalism swept the country, these venues became the refuge of the European and Indian elite, the aristocrats, the moneyed and the public servants. During this period, musicians such as Chic Chocolate, Frank Fernand, Micky Correa, Rudy Cotton, Hal and Henry Green, Josic Menzie, Pamela McCarthy, and Chris Perry were at the forefront of the burgeoning jazz scene in Bombay, the nerve center of which was at the Taj Mahal hotel ballroom, which became the node of essential transmission of cultural messages between East and West. These musicians often played at five-star hotels, but they were regulars at the second level, at the Ambassador Starlight Roof Gardens, the Bristol Grill, the Dadar Catholic Institute, the Greens Hotel, the Ritz Roof Garden, the West End Hotel Roof Garden and the YMCA. Many of these musicians were Goans, because Goans learnt western music under Portuguese rule. Most of the Goan jazz musicians also worked in the Bollywood film industry and were responsible for the introduction of genres like jazz and swing to Hindi film music. Although jazz in India began as an entertainment for the elite, it made its way to the working class and into Hindi films. Frank Fernand and Anthony Gonsalves not only infused the sound of western music into Bollywood, but were also filled with India's new-found nationalism and developed an authentic foundation to link the world of jazz with that of Indian classical music.[6] The jazz fraternity was also a melting pot of people of different communities because there were Goans, Anglo-Indians and people from other communities like Rudy Cotton who was a Parsi.

Indo jazz

Jazz and Indian classical music share some similarities, one of them being that they both involve improvisation. Musicians realised this and collaborations between Indian classical musicians and Western jazz musicians which had commenced in the 1940s led to the development of a new genre of music called Indo jazz consisting of jazz, classical and Indian influences. Ravi Shankar, John Coltrane, John Mayer and John McLaughlin were some of the pioneers of the fusion of jazz and Indian music.[7][8] Conversely, Indian classical music has also had a significant impact on a subgenre of jazz music known as free jazz.[9][10]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Sahar Adil (2009-08-10). "Jazz Music and India, By Madhav Chari". Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  3. ^ Shope, Bradley (2016). American Popular Music in Britain's Raj. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press. p. 63. ISBN 9781580465489.
  4. ^ Taj Mahal Foxtrot: The Story of Bombay's Jazz Age, Naresh Fernandes, 2012, ISBN 9788174367594
  5. ^
  6. ^ "The Indian jazz age". 2012-04-06. Archived from the original on 2012-04-11. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  7. ^ Satyajit Roychaudhury. "Indian Music and Jazz: Reflections of Form" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  8. ^ "All about 'Jazz' - Times Of India". 2009-09-26. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  9. ^ Rossi, Marc (2003-03-29). "The Influence of Indian Music on Jazz | The Current". Rain Computers. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  10. ^ "Jazz and the Subcontinent". Retrieved 2012-07-17.

External links

Further reading

  • Bradley Shope. American Popular Music in Britain's Raj. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2016 ISBN 9781580465489.
This page was last edited on 15 December 2019, at 09:34
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