The World Jazz Festival is back in India for its second edition; details inside

Pandemic days are over and music events are back. The highly anticipated World Jazz Festival, helmed by Banyan Tree, brings Mumbai a fine medley of renowned artists of the genre.

From teenagers to die-hard jazz fans, there will be something for all lovers of the genre at the festival. Easy listening, funk, jazz-rock, ballads, fusion including entries from Hindustani music to Indian jazz in a jazz, vocal and swing format to bebop and big band sound, everything will be there.

American singer Deborah Carter is one of the most dynamic singers on the jazz scene. She has visited India before and had a wonderful adventure discovering new things, making new friends and having “beautiful memories (and souvenirs) to take home”. “Going to India is never just a trip, it’s a multi-sensory experience,” she recalled in an email interview.

Carter was influenced by “Al Jarreau (the first), Natalie Cole, Nancy Wilson and Ella Fitzgerald”, by his own admission. Carter, who sings with The Round Midnight (a song by Thelonious Monk after which the band is named) Orchestra at home, will be seen with Dutch tenor saxophonist Ben Van Den Dungen Quartet. Dungen is not a new name for Indian jazz lovers, having visited the country for shows and being one who mixes jazz music with Indian influences. “A few years ago, I studied Indian classical music. Sometimes it’s nice to experiment with the crossover between jazz and Indian music, especially the improvisation techniques. For this show, I’m playing a jazz program and not a cross program. 100% pure jazz with some elements of New Orleans music,” says Dungenn, who has long been associated with the Indian music scene after studying classical music with Dhanashree Pandit Rai for a few years. He is happy to be back and playing again. Speaking about his last visit in June 2019, he says it was just “awesome”, while adding: “The ambience, the atmosphere, the people, the food and of course the music. I’m happy to be back.

Among the other performers, singer and bassist Nathalie Schaap offers an intimate mix of unique improvisation between what she calls her two instruments, “my voice and my bass”. Schaap will be playing with the Alexander Beets Quintet and is delighted with her first visit to the country and says she will bring a combination of different styles, mainly jazz, which also draws inspiration from folk music. Tenor Alexander Beets has achieved international acclaim with his explosive sound and undeniable swing over the past decades. In addition to performing with his own quintet, he will also perform with singers Paul van Kessel and Nathalie Schaap. As a jazz saxophonist, Beets was nicknamed “The Hurricane” due to his explosive and expressive playing. With over 2000 gigs to date, India, he says, is on his touring map and is one of his favorite performance countries.

“Indians are very fond of jazz and improvised music in all its forms. I toured India with Saskia Laroo in 2019 and the enthusiasm for international jazz music was heartwarming. India is difficult to explain to people who have never been there. The variety of people, colors, tastes, smells is overwhelming every time I visit. He appreciates Banyan Tree’s work in supporting jazz in India. “Banyan Tree is a strong international Indian partner to achieve collaborations to connect India’s traditional improvised music with European and global jazz. Although the structure, theory, instruments and sound are completely different from the two musical worlds, they blend perfectly.

Lady jazz trumpeter Saskia Laroo, who on her last visit played a rousing set of jazz-rock, hip-hop is also one of the attractions this year. Expect hard-hitting jazz meets hip-hop again from this talented musician who is labeled “Lady Miles” because of her trumpet-playing style.

The list of artists also includes Cape Town singer-songwriter and vocal coach Jodie Fredericks Quartet with Bas Toscani (Cornet), R. Prasanna, (better known as Guitar Prasanna), a pioneer in the interpretation of Carnatic music on the guitar.

Venue: St. Andrew’s Auditorium, Bandra (W), Mumbai

When: June 4 (Day 1) and June 5 (Day 2); Time: 7 p.m.

Day 1: Artists: Prasanna, Jodi Fredericks Quartet with Bas Toscani and Ellister van der Moolen, Ben van den Dungen Quartet with Deborah Carter

Day 2: Artists: Alexander Beets Quintet with Paul van Kessel and Nathalie Schaap, Saskia Laroo Band — Jazz meets hip-hop

Event: jazz for kids

Time: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Artists: Bas Toscani, Deborah Carter and Ben van den Dungen

Call to register for this free concert: 9323930139 or 9324143597

Tickets available on

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