There’s no denying that Kolkata boasts of one of the most vibrant musical scenes in the country. From concerts to acts by solo artists such as Lucky Ali to the popular NH7 Weekenders to classical offerings such as the long-running Dover Lane Music Conference, and more, the city has something to offer to music aficionados of diverse tastes and sensibilities.
Kolkata’s jazz fans will have much to cheer about this weekend.
Jazzfest Kolkata will be bringing a unique experience to your screens—a digital festival from December 17 to 19 December, 2021. The line-up will feature performances by musical outfits from India, Germany, Switzerland and France.
On offer will be a diverse range of jazzy beats and genres—classical, trance, retro, Afrofunk, fusion (with blues and other genres), to name just a few. The official line-up is as follows:
- Rémi Gaudillat Sextet: The French outfit is known for its energetic improvisation on classical jazz and orchestral tunes. They often use traditional instruments for their performances.
- Hely: If trance and minimalism rank high on your musical preferences, this two-piece band from Zurich, Switzerland, may just be what the doctor ordered. Hely features Lucca Fries on piano and Jonas Ruther on drums.
- Supergombo: The French ensemble have been reported to deliver an “intergalactic music quest” to their listeners. Their music heavily features bass, rhythms and grooves—all of which combine to create a cinematic, retro-futuristic ambience.
- Chirag Todi: Indie artist Chirag Todi is one of the more exciting talents in India today. The Ahmedabad-based musician, who is also the guitarist for the indie band Heat Sink, has garnered critical acclaim for his works as a solo artist and as a member of Heat Sink. He has won a number of state-level and national-level awards and has also worked with luminaries such as A. R. Rahman. His influences range from jazz to funk to blues and progressive rock.
- Braff-Huguenin-Erlich-Fernández: The Swiss duo of Malcolm Braff and Claire Huguenin met in 2013, and have since been involved in several projects. Braff is well-regarded as a fantastic avant-garde artist—mixing gospel music with African influences, complex rhythms and groove for a sublime, soul-elevating, sublime experience. Huguenin started out as an electrifying rock singer before successfully making the transition into the pop, contemporary jazz and underground music scenes. For their performances at Kolkata Jazzfest, they will be joined by two young, talented musicians—Iago Fernandez on drums and Nadav Erlich on bass.
- Enzo Carniel & House of Echo: Enzo Carniel is an award-winning French pianist, whose genre-defying explorations and improvisations of jazz music have an otherworldly quality to them. His researches and collaborations led to the formation of the House of Echo—a quartet that specialises in mixing long improvisations and tracks with a kinetic approach, that have a distinct rawness, ambience and electrifying quality.
- Jatayu: The rock-jazz quartet from Chennai fuses together Indian classical music and the more contemporary forms of jazz, rock and funk. The band intends to bring to life compositions based on the ancient Carnatic classical percussion syllables called konnakol and render them in the form of modern songs. The band’s name, which is taken from the mythological bird in the Ramayana, is emblematic of the approach it has towards music—bold, refreshing and paying homage to the old and the new.
- L’Eclair: If there’s one word that defines L’Eclair, it’s evolution. This Swiss sextet seamlessly weaves together influences from Afro-Disco, Komische Jazz, Krautrock, early-House, funk and more—all evident in their 2021 album, Confusions. Their fluid, energetic compositions are tinged with emotion and nostalgia as well.
- Tobias Meinhart Berlin People: One of Germany’s most significant jazz acts, Tobias Meinhart has been hailed as “Germany’s biggest talent on the saxophone”. The Berlin People jazz quintet started its journey in 2018 and has since brought experimental and improvisational approaches to the genre by combining American Jazz with European influences. They have served as official representatives in several national jazz festivals till date.
(For more information on the individual acts, click here.)
The performances start from 7 pm IST on the three evenings. Both livestream and on-demand passes will be available. The on-demand pass will give you access to the festival programme and performances till December 31, 2021. The livestream pass is being mailed 12 hours before the event starts, while the password and log-in details for the on-demand streaming will be mailed to those who have registered 24 hours after the event ends on December 19, 2021. Both tickets can be booked here.