Last Tuesday, bought in a new charm in contrast to the usual working week-days, with a musical play, that made its audience go back in time and re-live the past. It was an evening where one could sit back and relax to the tunes of smooth Jazz and fine theatre performances.
The Directorate of Art and Culture along with Social Economical Environmental Developing (SEED) Foundation, hosted Bombay Jazz, a semi- autobiographical musical which takes its inspiration from the Goans and Anglo-Indians who introduced the jazz music genre to Indian cinema in the late 1900s.
Featuring acclaimed stage actors Denzil Smith and saxophonist Rhys Sebastian D’souza, the musical tells the stories of celebrated musicians of yesteryears who introduces Jazz to the world of Bollywood in the late 1900s. Smith, enacts a role that portrays the musicians of that time. You can see glimpses of Anthony Gonsalves, Anthonio Xavier Vaz, also known as Chic Chocolate, Chris Perry, Alfred Rose, Sebastian D’Souza, Remo Fernandes, and Dattaram Naik. Rhys plays himself in the play. The musical tells the story of how jazz impacted the lives of the musicians in their times.
David DeSouza, Founder of SEED Foundation who brought the celebrated play to Goa explained, “Music is an integral part of Goan culture. In an effort to keep alive the rich culture, heritage and legacy of our Goan community, I felt the need to bring the well-received play Bombay Jazz to Goa. I am delighted that it was a success and brought back fond memories for the audiences.”
SEED Foundation also felicitated the cast and crew as well as well-wishers who have supported the organization in keeping Goa’s traditions alive. These included, Shri. Parmaditya IPS – DIG, Goa; celebrated jazz saxophonist Braz Gonsalves, musician Anthony Vaz and the cast and crew of the musical which included Denzil Smith, Rhys D’Souza, Blossom Coutinho, Mr. Etienne Coutinho, Merlin D’Souza, Gurleen Jugde, Varrunn Bangera, Somrai Rathod, Cassiano and Anthony Fernandes.
Between the years 1950-1970, Mumbai was famously known as the hub for Jazz music. And although it harbored a lot of artists, employment and monetary value was a factor that was never added. It was during this time that Bollywood began hiring Jazz Musicians. Many of these employed were Goan musicians. They joined to continue their passion never knowing that it would also get their names written down in history. This play is a celebration of the pioneering of this beautiful genre in India and the people who were responsible for it.
Cast of the musical Bombay Jazz
Written by Ramu Ramanathan
Based on Research by Naresh Fernandes
Directed by Etienne Coutinho
Music Composer: Merlin D’souza
Starring: Denzil Smith & Rhys Sebastian D’souza