Jazz, a genre of music originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, USA, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It stemmed from slaves, who were prevented from maintaining their native musical traditions, and felt the need to substitute some homegrown form of musical expression.
In the late 19th century, stylistic origins were the Blues, Ragtime, New Orleans style swing, free jazz fusion and progressive jazz.
In the late 1960s, it varied when musicians combined jazz harmony and improvisation with rock music, funk and rhythm and blues using instruments such as double bass, drums and guitar.
Electric guitars, amplifiers and keyboards started being used by jazz musicians who had grown up listening to rock ‘n roll, while their outstanding contribution to musical character, perseverance and innovation impacted the world.
A POPULAR GENRE
Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, Carlos Santana combined Latin rhythms, shaping a whole new genre. Rock artists such as The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Gary Moore, among others, took influences from jazz and fusion, incorporating it into their own music.
In India, Louis Banks is referred to as the 'Godfather of Indian jazz'. Trilok Gurtuage, a percussionist and composer, blended Indian music with jazz fusion and accompanied world famous musicians.
Antonio Xavier Vaz, (1916-1967), better known by stage name of ‘Chic Chocolate’, from Goa, was among the first and best known jazz musicians, a trumpeter led a Jazz band at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Bombay (now Mumbai).
Chris Perry, (1928-2012) a musician, composer, songwriter and film producer known as the 'King of Cha Cha Cha' and 'Man with the Golden Trumpet', combined jazz with Konkani music.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Several music schools have sprung up in Goa over the past couple of years, and among them is the Goa Jazz Academy (GJA), founded by entrepreneurs Karan Khosla (a graduate in Physics and Applied Math from Boston University, USA), a management consultant by day and musician by night; and a protégé of American Jazz Guitar legends Jonathan Kreisberg and Mathew Warnock, who is among the leading jazz guitar players in India.
Co-founder, Divya Gupta, had her own corporate insurance practice for 12 years. They moved to Goa in 2017 in order to get away from the bustle of Delhi, and do something more purposeful with their lives.
“The idea of GJA came about in 2018, when Karan started teaching private students and doing free workshops. Very soon, we realized the need for a more accessible music school catering to all age groups. We started with a scholarship program with 8 students. Three years later, we have about 150 students in private teaching as well as programs. We have free EAR training online once a week for beginners,” Divya informs.
USP OF GJA
GJA is focused on making students comfortable playing with others and enjoy performing. They have performance oriented goals for students and regular assessment, and offer their own certification with their courses.
Many students enroll for lessons in two or more instruments, especially voice + instrument, though not all choose singing jazz. Classes are usually held once a week at a time mutually decided between the student and faculty, who try to make programs flexible for the students.
Every alternate Saturday, GJA hosts a student jam session where students jam with the faculty of 11 instructors – 9 based in Goa, 1 in Mumbai and 1 in Ahmedabad.
Since inception, there have been student recitals every year. Aki Spadaro, from Italy, has joined as HoD for piano, and co-director for programs, and will be helping with curriculum and programs.
Students who graduated from the GJA have found work as professionals in and outside Goa.
“Our vision is to become a leading music space providing affordable, accessible and flexible music education at the grassroots level along with personalised mentorship. Five years from now, we see ourselves as a leading institute in South Asia providing high quality music education. Our USP is customising our teaching to what the students’ goals, because we don’t believe that one approach can be applied to everyone,” adds Divya.
In addition to offering private one-on-one classes, GJA runs different programs:
The Jazz Ensemble Program is a scholarship program, sponsored by MWG courses (A leading US music institute)
The Music Foundation program is an 8 week program
Jazz Guitar Bootcamp is an online group program
Jazz Piano Bootcamp is an 8 week program
So, if you are in the mood for some music education, why not check out the Goa Jazz Academy, in Guirim.
LOCATION: The Goa Jazz Academy, Guirim
CONTACT: +91 9021499484