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NCPA Launches Its Own Jazz Collective

The band comprises New Delhi-bred singer Sanjeeta Bhattacharya and upright bass player Abhinav Khokhar, Kolkata-bred pianist Pradyumna Singh Manot and drummer Saurav Ghosh

Rolling Stone India Oct 05, 2018

The NCPA Jazz Collective - Pradyumna Singh Manot, Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, Saurav Ghosh and Abhinav Khokhar (from left). Photo: Courtesy of the NCPA

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It seems to give the initial impression of a house band, but the National Centre of Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai’s Jazz Collective is actually more of a traveling group of musicians and educators. Pianist Pradyumna Singh Manot describes the newly-formed NCPA Jazz Collective as “an institution” more than a project. “Here, I am part of a larger thing,” he says.

The NCPA Jazz Collective is just two rehearsals old, but it comprises some of the most able young jazz artists in the country. In addition to Manot, there’s singer-songwriter and vocalist Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, upright bass player Abhinav Khokhar and drummer Saurav Ghosh. Manot adds, “The collective is a mission more than a band. A band aims to get recognized and paid adequately for its work. With the NCPA Jazz Collective we want to spread jazz through concerts and education.”

Manot counts “attitude and being good and honest people” among the common ground that brings all the members of the group together. They will kickstart their first performance at, of course, the NCPA on October 5th, performing jazz standards, although Manot notes that there will be rarities that aren’t generally performed in India. He cites “Lush Life” as an example that’s known by “all jazz lovers” but “not a frequently done song.” The pianist adds that they will write their own music soon as well, and planning workshops and gigs. He says, “For sure as time passes that intimate feeling will come that this is ours. Right now, it’s still a new feeling.”

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The NCPA Jazz Collective performs at the Experimental Theatre, NCPA, Mumbai on October 5th. Entry: Rs 500. Buy tickets here.

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