A new weekly gig series at a SoBo eatery will provide a leg-up to Mumbai's jazz musicians
Kimochi Youkai performs during a Saturday Jazz Night event at Goyaa
Mumbai has a healthy number of jazz musicians plying their trade in the city. The genre has a rich legacy here as well, going all the way back to the 1950s when South Bombay was abuzz with the sound of saxophones, to when Louiz Banks first arrived here in the '70s, to the current crop of artistes. There is a music school that initiates the next generation. Organisations like the NCPA play their part, too. All in all, you would think that jazz music is in a healthy state in this part of the country, except that there's a problem - a paucity of venues. And artistes thus have to fall back on restaurants like Veranda in Bandra and The Little Door in Andheri to play in front of an audience.
But there is now an addition to that list. Goyaa, a chic eatery in a still-functioning printing mill in Byculla, has recently started a property called Saturday Jazz Nights. Tanish Thakker of Gatecrash, the events firm that curates the series, tells us, "I approached the restaurant after it launched around seven months ago with the idea of hosting gigs there, and the owner [Siddharth Somaiya] told me straight up, 'Let's do it.' But he wasn't quite sure about the genre initially, and since we do a lot of jazz gigs [with the events firm], we thought we should stick to it because jazz has this quality that lets you listen to the music if you want to or have it merely as an ambient background, which is perfect for the setting."
This weekend's edition, he adds, will feature veteran vocalist Samantha Edwards playing with three instrumentalists. The plan, Thakker tells us, is to make this an ongoing property with a few others in the pipeline, such as a Sunday sundowner that will feature electronic music. All of which sounds good, honestly, because even if the city is restricted to restaurants doubling up as gig venues, we still have to make the most of it, don't we?
Other music properties to attend
The Grind is a long-standing electronic music series that takes place across pubs and bars in Mumbai. The edition tonight is taking place at FLEA Bazaar Café in Lower Parel, and features British hip-hop duo Too Many T's. They are Ross Standaloft and Leon Rhymes, and their debut album, South City, has millions of online streams. The two of them will take the stage after city-based producers DJ Ishani and Bobkat set the mood with their opening acts.
The Legends Live is a concert series held at Phoenix Marketcity in Kurla, and features famous Indian musicians. This edition will have Roop Kumar Rathod and Hariharan paying tribute to Girija Devi, a doyen of classical music who is also a Padma Vibhushan awardee.
On Tonight, 10 pm onwards.
At Goyaa, Unit 2, Jak Compound, DK Cross Road, Byculla.
Log on to bookmyshow.com
Cost Rs 524
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