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A New Jazz Festival To Begin In November

Russell Malone, Igor Butman and Diane Witherspoon confirm dates for the three-day, two-city fest

rsiwebadmin Jul 13, 2012
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Russell Malone

With the annual jazz festival, Jazz Utsav having lost its former glory, a new jazz festival gives jazz lovers reason for cheer. The festival, which will be held in Mumbai and Delhi is being organized by Mumbai-based businessman and jazz enthusiast Pradeep Bhatia and ROLLING STONE India jazz columnist Sunil Sampat.

Six traditional jazz musicians have been invited to play the fest. Russian saxophonist Igor Butman, American guitarist Russell Malone, American singer Diane Witherspoon and American pianist Marcus Roberts have already confirmed dates. Also expected to confirm are pianist Ellis Marsalis Jr, New Orleans guitarist Steve Masakowski, Chinese-American pianist Helen Sung, Drummer Sylvia Cuenca and vocalist Dee Daniels.

The jazz festival, unlike Jazz Utsav, will only feature artists who have gained repute as traditional jazz musicians. “We don’t want any fusion. Each of these artists have worked towards propagating mainstream, traditional jazz music that has filtered down generations,” says Sampat. The free for all festival will be held from November 2nd to 5th, 2012 at NCPA in Mumbai and Zorba the Buddha in Delhi. “We want people to come and enjoy the music, without worrying if it’ll be their money’s worth.”

The jazz festival JazzMatazz that was launched last year at the NCPA will skip a year and be held early next year with a new name ”“ Jazz At The NCPA.  “There will no JazzMatazz this year since we have to keep in mind the NCPA calendar and the artist dates as well. Last year, we hosted JazzMatazz around Diwali time, which is Thanksgiving in America, and artists don’t like to travel during their holiday season,” says Romit Chatterjee, member of the jazz advisory committee at NCPA, “Next year, we are aiming for January end [to hold the festival].”

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