It all started way back in December 2001, when Armando Gonsalves and a team of jazz loving friends such as Valerio Sequeira, Carlos Monteiro, George Fernandez, Caetano Filiipe Colaco, Lester Godinho, Carlos Tavora, Colin D’Cruz, Mac Dourado and ohers got together to organize small home events at Armando’s home aka Gonsalves Mansion.
In December 2001, the show held on the 18 th was a spur-of-the-moment decision taken since everyone wanted to have a great start to the festive week that was just a few days away. And what a night it was. George Fernandez, Lester Godinho, Carlos Monteiro, Mac Dourado, Benny Rosario and a host of other local stars were seen in action, and so much was the action that the 33 metre long verandah of the home was fully occupied by jazz lovers who had come from all over. Those shows were completely free of charge and each one was more like a pound party where everyone pooled in with a drink here, some snacks there and a whole lot of bonhomie. The show was graced by Shaukat Baig who just landed up from nowhere. In any case, we did not know who he was till Valerio introduced him as his brother-in-law much to our delight. Shaukat is a wonderful musician and he played raga on the piano amongst so many other interesting numbers besides being absolutely fantastic on the mike. We were truly entertained by this wonderful entertainer.
It wasn’t going to be far when Konkani would take centre stage in the whole proceedings. With so many of the verandah shows already having given the music revolution a lift, the Konkani evening was an evening that will be difficult to forget. The Chico family led by Young Chico with able support from Andre and Tanya besides H Briton, gave the punch to the show.
With a jazz movement practically set in motion Jazz Goa was formed around March 2004 and this led to many wonderful and exciting shows, all at Gonsalves Mansion in the months of June, July and August of that year. All well attended, the shows lent wings to a new excitement in jazz in Goa and this set the stage for a revolution in the form of the Heritage Jazz Yatra, which is basically, jazz festivals held at Goa’s beautiful heritage homes.
Since the success of the show was heralded everywhere what with the electronic media and
the national press referring to it as a “path-breaking event”, Trancemedia had to come
up with the shows again to keep up the momentum. And IFFI provided this chance once again,
at Gonsalves Mansion which is situated right in the middle of the IFFI arena.
In early December, the show was graced by the Brown Indian Band which comprised of Colin D’Cruz and a host of musicians from North India as well as from South India besides having a Western Jazz segment led by Jayson Jones of Chicago . The show was an instant success and of course, Heritage Jazz was here to stay
The Heritage Jazz Yatras was again held at Gonsalves Mansion on the 19th of December 2004
with the exciting troupe of funk jazz exponent Tala Faral taking the crowd by storm.
The Heritage Jazz Yatras was again held at Gonsalves Mansion on the 19th of December 2004 with the exciting troupe of funk jazz exponent Tala Faral taking the crowd by storm. Tala, the diminutive saxophonist who is originally from Madagascar , settled for a long time in India and now back in the US of A, kept the crowd on its feet with the foot-stomping jazz funk and jazz rock music he is so famous for. The show was sponsored by State Bank of India who were advertising their much sought after loan scheme, The Heritage LoanScheme, which is designed to finance the purchase and refurbishment of old heritage homes in Goa. Ramesh Kumar, Chief General Manager of State Bank of India went out of his way to ensure that the show was the show piece of the bank and without his help, Heritage Jazz Yatra would not have been the premier show it is today.
George Brooks and Leni Stern performed at Gonsalves Mansion along with Sunny Jain an American
of Indian origin on the drums and Gary Wong on the electric double bass on 23 January
George Brooks has a unique melodic voice, his saxophone and piano performances are always strong on technical fluency and his dynamic stage presence makes him a much sought after performer.
Leni stern played the guitar and the evening began on a very relaxed note with Leni and George playing – he on the piano and she on the guitar. It slowly worked up and took off with Sunny Jain joining the duo with Gary Wong on the electric double bass . He was the star of the evening the runs he performed on the double bass delighted his audience. George Brooks’ saxophone playing was great. The combined effect of the two saxophones, one double bass and guitar was outstanding. The strange thing was Brooks and Sunny both live and work in New York , but had never met each other. It took Goa and a bunch of jazz lovers in a heritage house in a beautiful city to bring them together.
With so much success for the show in such a short period, Trancemedia took up the prestigious band of Sunny Jain and his trio from the US . As if this was not enough, world renowned jazz saxophonist George Brooks was in India at that time in the company of Leni Stern also from New York and the five got together and set the streets of Campal on fire with their superb music. This fourth show in the series was held on the 23rd of January 2005 .
The Verandah of the Gonsalves Mansion was where the first Jazz shows took place. The crowds would also spill out on the streets outside the Mansion, which was then named the 'Heritage Jazz Street'
Gonsalves Mansion came alive with a truly wonderful concert performed by Jazz greats in aid of Goa ’s jazz vocalist Belinda Oliviera, who was suffering from cancer. It was a star-studded evening with India ’s best and brightest jazz musicians who gave from their hearts. The concert opened with a delightful performance by the band Blue Note Ensemble made up of musicians like Lester Godinho, Anthony Fernandes, Michael Godinho, Susan Rocha and others. Among the greats were Braz Gonsalves, Frank Dubier, Carlos Gonsalves, Yvonne Gonsalves, Sonia Saigal, Helen Loiuse Jones and Louis Banks. The concert was packed to overflowing with jazz enthusiasts of all nationalities. The open air sit-down table arrangement lent a unique American street Jazz ambience to the evening. Then the rains came down and quite a number enjoyed both the music and the rains. While some wise souls brought umbrellas, others turned the plastic lawn chairs and plastic bags into rainwear, while others soaked in the rain and the music. They refused to leave the venue and the musicians continued giving even better and better performances as the night wore on. Finally virtuoso pianist Louis Banks wound up the evening and it was easy to see why he is the most sought after music composer of jingles and audio visuals in the country. There was also a small art exhibition of paintings by some of Goa ’s best known artists like Mohan Naik, Harshada Kerkar, Sonia Rodrigues and Suhas Shilkar. An evening to remember.
Christians fabulous drumming kept the unplugged event sizzling the whole evening on the balcao of Gonsalves Mansion