On November 2, a thrilling performance by Russian and world jazz megastar Igor Butman set in motion a three-day international jazz festival in New Delhi.
The Zorba amphitheater was the venue of a fantastically vivid and rich programme for jazz lovers and connoisseurs. The audience enthusiastically welcomed such famous hits as Juan Tizol’s ‘Caravan’ and blues from Ray Charles’ repertoire. The concert also featured graceful interpretations of Russian popular songs: cheerful ‘Samara-gorodok’, nostalgic ‘Moscow nights’, tender and lyrical ‘Ray of the Golden Sun’ from the cartoon “Musicians from Bremen”.
The sextet members, comprising trombonist Alevtina Polyakova, pianist Nikolai Levinovsky, contrabass player Vitaly Solomonov, trumpeter Alexander Berenson and percussionist Eduard Zizak, also masterly performed ‘The Tilting Doll’ and ‘Polina’. The musicians won thunderous applauses and cries of bravo.
While addressing the festival’s guests, participants and organizers, H.E. Mr Alexander Kadakin, Ambassador of Russia to India, reminded that Russian jazz had a rather checkered history. On the one hand, it was rudely suppressed by the then communist authorities, on the other – there existed big bands and soloists who were on par with the outside world.
“The art of jazz is capable of transcending all kinds of borders and sweeping away ‘iron curtains’, thus bringing peoples from various countries closer to each other”, he noted. “Igor Butman’s multifaceted talents are unique, making him an exquisite phenomenon of the jazz history of the 21st century”.
The Delhi festival held on the initiative of a few enthusiasts called ‘Jazz Addicts’, drew acclaimed performers from abroad, including the US and Europe. On November 3-5, Mumbai, India’s largest business and cultural capital, will pick up the festival’s baton.