A blast from the jazz past

(L to R) Anthony Vaz, Parmaditya, Merlyn D’Souza, Braz Gonsalves and David DeSouza

The Directorate of Art and Culture along with the Social Economical Environmental Developing (SEED) Foundation hosted Bombay Jazz, a semi-autobiographical musical which took its inspiration from the Goans and Anglo-Indians who introduced the jazz music genre to Indian cinema in the late 1900s.

Between 1950 and 1970, Mumbai was famously known as the hub for jazz music. And although it harboured a lot of artistes, employment and monetary value was a factor that was never added. It was during this time that Bollywood began hiring jazz musicians. Many of those employed were Goan musicians. They joined to continue their passion never knowing that it would also get their names written down in history. This play is a celebration of the pioneering of this genre in India and the people who were responsible for it.

The musical featured stage actors Denzil Smith and saxophonist Rhys Sebastian D’souza.  It was written by Ramu Ramanathan, based on research by Naresh Fernandes, directed by Etienne Coutinho and composed by Merlin D’souza. The musical tells the story of how jazz impacted the lives of musicians such as Chic Chocolate, Chris Perry, Alfred Rose, Sebastian D’Souza, Remo Fernandes and Dattaram Naik.

Founder of SEED Foundation, David DeSouza, who brought the celebrated play to Goa said: “Music is an integral part of Goan culture. In an effort to keep alive the rich culture, heritage and legacy of our Goan community, I felt the need to bring the well-received play Bombay Jazz to Goa. I am delighted that it was a success and brought back fond memories for the audiences.”

At the event, SEED Foundation also felicitated the cast and crew as well as well-wishers who have supported the organisation in keeping Goa’s traditions alive. These included Parmaditya IPS; jazz saxophonist Braz Gonsalves, musician Anthony Vaz and the cast and crew of the musical which included Denzil Smith, Rhys D’Souza, Blossom Coutinho, Etienne Coutinho, Merlin D’Souza, Gurleen Jugde, Varrunn Bangera, Somrai Rathod, Cassiano and Anthony Fernandes.