Jazz in Delhi
By Maxwell Pereira


The annual Jazz Yatra of the last two years was a three-day jamboree this time at the Jazz Utsav-06 with an array of performers evoking forms of ecstasy and agony, with some placid stuff thrown in too at the Sai Auditorium in early Dec 06. The Indian bands featured were Delhi’s HFT and Soap, Pune’s Sideswingers, and the Amit Hari group with Kari Peters and Ranjit Barot. From abroad were Norway’s Kirsti Huke quartet, the Swiss Martin Daharukar, Polish Maria Sadowska and German Wolfgang Haffner. Their sounds were electic with local afficianados already hungry for more of the like.

Even as Delhi swings and sways to the rhythm of a musical extravaganza of varied spectrums in Rock, Blues, Pop and Jazz, as also the Classical and Choral Christmassy to keep in with the seasonal flavour, plans are afoot to start a new International Standard Jazz Club in New Delhi – claimed to be the first of its kind by design in India.

Named Mike’s Jazz Club, it is the brainchild of Michael Albuquerque – a jazz aficionado in Delhi – fructifying his “dream, vision and an immense driving passion” - to build a truly International Jazz, Blues and Latino Music Club.

Preparations are afoot to organize a series of 180 live indoor and open-air concerts in Delhi over the next 12 months by top notch Jazz Bands – both local and from outside, including from abroad. The performances will be at select, classy, very upmarket, spacious, and well laid out restaurants with an international ambience. Top restaurants in 5-star Deluxe Hotels and elsewhere in South Delhi have been lined up to provide the required setting for the jazz concerts, as an avenue for spreading the message amongst jazz lovers around.

Tentatively hoped to commence towards the end of this year, the concerts will be co-hosted by Mike’s Jazz Club and the selected Restaurant and Hotel Venues. 4 Jazz Bands selected to be the Club “branded” Bands will perform the concerts under the Club banner.

‘Jamming' music sessions and artist auditions are already being held with vocalists and instrumentalists displaying their varied talents. Says Michael, “We really are a musical tribe. The empathy, bonding spirit as well as the chemistry is being made stronger than ever before”. The Band Managements are accountable, as a group, for auditioning artists / bands, selecting top - notch Delhi based artists, forming them into bands, making commitments on artist/band availability for scheduled concert performance dates and so on.
Top level nationally reputed Star Jazz Artists, many from outside Delhi, are expected to perform at the special jazz shows/concerts. Mike claims rapport with top national level jazz music personalities like Sharon Prabhakar, Joe Alvares, Loy Mendonca (of Ehsan, Loy and Shankar of Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna or KANK fame), Mohsin Menezes  and Remo Fernandes to name just a few. Efforts are on to rope in other star-studded accomplished jazz music entertainers like Louis Banks, Xavier Fernandes, Steve Sequeira and Merlin from Mumbai, Brenda Lily and Andrea Jeremiah from Chennai, etc., etc. who have had a long history of having successfully provided very high music value for audiences, in Delhi, elsewhere in India and abroad.

Diplomatic Missions, Corporate Houses, International Organisations, reputable Music Schools, Consultants as well as individual jazz aficionados and associates are being approached for providing Mike’s Jazz Club their patronage, encouragement, guidance, support and assistance.

The project’s been cooking for several years, but designing a model where pleasure and business could come together took time, says Mike. He is confident this path-breaking endeavour will succeed with ingredients like sound entrepreneurship and management acumen, coupled with a scintillating music repertoire, top quality musicians providing high jazz related entertainment value to customers and patrons, enchanting venues with the right ambience for jazz concerts and financial and moral support from patrons, donors and sponsors.

The Club House Office currently functions from the Sainik Farms residence (12 Lane-5 Anupam Gardens Delhi-68) of Michael and Usha Albuquerque (former news reader and currently a career consultant of eminence). The Club House soon likely to move to an appropriate permanent location, is expected to become operational during the first quarter of 2007.

Once the concerts begin to excite audiences, hordes of jazz aficionados are expected to become annual members as news of the jazz club’s activities begins to lure sponsors and donors. The Club House plans to have air-conditioned rehearsal studios with basic musical instruments, contemporary modern sound equipment, green room facilities with lockers for performing artistes, and space for jazz “jamming” sessions, rooms for conducting workshops, seminars, talks, presentations, Audio-visual facilities and a Jazz Music Library (reading material, CDs, MP3s, VCDs, DVDs) as also instructors for those interested in learning jazz at the Club House.

For more information including on the Concerts, admission ticket prices for various category of shows, quality of Artists / Bands being inducted into the Club as Artist Members, various categories of Regular Jazz Club Membership etc, the Jazz Club House and its design, and much more, Mike can be contacted on Ph: 29552936 / 29555381; Mobile: 98106 – 24489; And email: michaela@ol24.net and michaela@vsnl.net.

18.12.2006: Copy Right © Maxwell Pereira: 3725 Sector-23, Gurgaon-122017. tel no: 0124-4111026, 2360568; on website www.maxwellpereira.com ; email: mfjpkamath@gmail.com


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