World Jazz Festival
Unique thematic festival
In its continuous endeavour to provide enriching experiences to music-lovers, Banyan Tree has always created unique thematic festivals, many of which are based on particular genres. In the year 2020, we launched another such unique festival that presented two genres – World Music and Jazz Music – in harmonious tandem.
Jazz, although rooted in earlier genres of music such as Blues and Ragtime Music, developed as a separate, complex genre of music in itself, in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. This development was greatly influenced and advanced by the African-American communities living in New Orleans, Louisiana. This music reached Mumbai’s shores in the 1920s, and performances of Jazz Music became a recurring highlight at the iconic Taj Mahal hotel. Even though Jazz was considered music for the elite initially, it was not long before influences of Jazz crept into Bollywood and popular Music, and soon, this music reached the masses.
World Music, for its part, is more of an umbrella covering varied forms of ethnic music from diverse geographical regions.
Over decades, there have been several festivals celebrating Jazz Music, and in recent times, even World Music festivals have emerged. However, never before could a music lover enjoy both of these genres, each considered most flexible and spectacular, on the same platform.
Banyan Tree’s (very aptly titled) World Jazz Festival enabled just that, and facilitated the blending of these two celebrated genres, creating a distinct event that proved to be a stellar success.
The first ever World Jazz Festival was launched in early February 2020, in Mumbai and Pune. Held in association with one of the most reputed festivals of Netherlands, the Amersfoort Jazz Festival, the World Jazz Festival presented the best jazz musicians from Netherlands, USA, France, Thailand and even South Africa. The World Jazz Festival also presented some Indian Classical musicians, since both Indian Classical Music and Jazz involve great levels of improvisation and spontaneity, and the tying together of these sounds created the genre and presentation of Indo-Jazz music.
The World Jazz Festival received tremendous appreciation in both Mumbai and Pune. Attendees at this festival included bureaucrats, officials from various consulates, top corporate honchos, and even well-known media personalities – all of whom thoroughly enjoyed the performances.
This Festival also worked as a valuable step and effort towards enhancing the Jazz Scene in India.