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International Jazz Day – April 30

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The UNESCO organizes the International Jazz Day on the 30 April every year. So being a music aficionado (or at least trying to be), I thought of delving a little into the journey of this musical genre in a country that already has an excellent musical legacy.

Well, the search for the same, again took me to my hometown, the City of Joy. I was not quite surprised as the Kolkata is officially known as the Cultural Capital of the Country. By the 20th century, many Europeans had  adapted the city as their hometown and their way of life began to be reflected in the city life. Pubs and nightclubs began to come up in the city that started belting out some outstanding jazz tunes.

By the late 1950s and 1960s, Kolkata was already home a few nightclubs some of which still continue to run. And what tickles in my mind, is the jazz veteran Carlton Kitto who continue to lighten up the jazz scene of Kolkata.

Park Street happens to be the hub of this musical genre.

Kitto began his musical journey in the 1970s at Moulin Rogue. Owned by a French Lady, Carlton along with his band Carlton Kitto Jazz Ensemble lit up the evenings at Moulin Rogue. The only Jazz Musician from the city, recently a documentary named Finding Carlton has been filmed on him that traces the history of Jazz in India. The movie has captured many moments that showcased how Jazz bridged cultures and provided a common language of communication.

Today, restaurants like Moulin Rogue, Mocambo and the age-old Trincas are places where one can expect to listen to some amazing jazz music on a Saturday evening In Kolkata.

Once frequented by the likes of Amitabh Bachhan and Shashi Kapoor, Trinca’s Tavern continues to run the tradition belting out Jazz musical for over 6 decades now. Someplace Else is another hang out where you can soothe your ears with similar tunes.

Therefore if you have a soft corner an ear for somewhat improvised music, Jazz is definitely for you – and now you know where to visit for some good Jazz musicals.

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