UNESCO recently declared the 30th of April as International jazz day,
encouraging worldwide participation on and around the 30th of April every year.
Jazz Goa celebrated it in style on the 1st of May in a second edition of
'Concert in the park' at the beautifully renovated Jardim Garcia da Orta in
Panjim. The crowd turnout was nothing short of phenomenal with all seating
arrangement filling in even before kick off time at 6pm. The rest of the huge
gathering filed in around 7pm and were happy to stand through some rivetting
performances that simply took thier breath away. The concert had celebrity show
host Raymond Alburqueque at the helm introducing every act with his usual flair
to give the show a classy edge. The Panjim Open Philharmonic made up of amateur
and professional musicians took the stage on the dot of six and went through
their repertoire with finnese guided by founding member Rui Lobo.
Then came Raymonds announcement of Jazz Goa's official participation in the
International jazz day inviting Jazz Junction to take the stage with Yvonne
Gonsalves on vocals, Joshua Costa on keyboards, Colin D'Cruz on fretless bass
and Lester Godinho on drums. The quartet simply blew the crowd away at the
outset itself opening with a swinging original called 'Jazz Goa Blues' followed
by their own versions of jazz standards like 'Triste' and 'You don't know what
love is' including contemporory jazz tunes like' and 'Any place I hang my hat
is home'. They then invited Canadian jazz singer Stefano Rocchetti to jam on
'Georgia' and 'Autumn Leaves'. Stefano is a showman extraordinaire, the crowd
just could not get enough of him, he left the stage promising to be back after
a beer. Jazz Junction wound up their set with a tune aptly titled 'That's all'.
UK guitarist Chris Jolly and singer Zezinho Fernandes then filled in with a
couple of mellow tunes while Goa's hot new act 'Smoking Chutney' prepared to blowthe jam packed park away in a sizzling hour long set. Smoking Chutney featured Benoy Rai on guitar and vocals, Colin D'Cruz on bass and Dennis Coelho on drums with Goa's ace percussionist Carlos Gonsalves jamming in as a guest along with UK singer Jan Graveson. The band opened with a smoking rendition of John Scofield's 'Do Like Eddie' that had Benoy's fiery guitar solos sitting on Dennis and Colin's
tight drum and bass grooves. Then came the tune 'Tightrope' this time
showcasing Benoy's vocal talent as well. Another smoking blues called 'Red
House' and it was time for Jan Graveson to join Smoking Chutney to pump up the
already adrenalized band. Jan showed the audience what 'showtime' is all about
with high energy renditions of the Police's 'Message in a bottle' and the
Beatle's 'Come together'. Jan's was a tough act to follow but showman Steffano
took it in his stride taking the stage again with an absolutely amazing renditionof 'Hoochie Coochie man'. It was now way past closing time but the crowd stayed rivetted demanding an encore that turned out to be the ultimate show stopper - an original tune titled 'Smoking Chutney' by the closing act 'Smoking Chutney'. The show ended with Raymond promising many more concerts in the park. Those who miss out on Jazz Goa concerts can log on to http://www.youtube.com/user/jazzgoa to view videoclips of the action in Goa.