Naresh Fernandes on Jazz in Bombay Part-1

By • Jan 11th, 2012
Category: Bollywood, Books and Authors, Entertainment, Featured, India, Mumbai, People, Video
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Taj Mahal Foxtrot - History of Jazz in Bombay by Naresh FernandesNaresh Fernandes is the author of  Taj Mahal Foxtrot that traces the history of jazz in Bombay, a thriving and important port city of India. Just like the American jazz age of the 1920s, there was an Indian jazz age in the 1920s that continued to grow and flourish until the 1940s.

At first it was American ministrels that arrived in Bombay in mid-19thc. The San Francisco Ministrels were the first band to arrive to this port city. But,  it was not until the 20thc that jazz became popular among a certain section of the city’s population. Bombay’s Taj Mahal hotel introduced the latest trends to its population, and jazz was certainly one of the latest trends that the hotel introduced in the 20thc.

“Hot music,” is how this new American brand of music was described in the early 20thc. Many of the musicians, mostly African-Americans, came to Bombay including Leon Abbey, Crickett Smith, Teddy Weatherford and others. This hot music became a big hit with musicians from Goa, who in turn introduced jazz elements into Hindi (Bollywood) cinema.  The influence of hot music was not limited to Indian cinema, but also influenced films in China since Shanghai.

Tune back for Part-2 of our interview with Naresh.

Apologies for the audio quality.

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2 Responses »

  1. Dear Kamla,
    Both Sushil and I enjoyed listening to the first part of your broadcast on Jazz in India. In fact, we will probably go out and buy the book, as Sushil, who lived in Bombay for a few years as a young boy, has fond memories of friends who played jazz and collected the music too. There used to be a group of his friends in Delhi too, who loved jazz and were amateur players, including one Louis Mehta, who played the double bass and others who played the piano, clarinet or sang.

  2. Thanks Mrs. Dubey for your comments and happy to hear that you all enjoyed listening to the interview. Naresh’s books paints a fascinating picture of jazz in Bombay, and traces the American influence into the city via music. You will enjoy reading the book.

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