Started in little bars in and around New Orleans in the late 19th century by African American musicians experimenting with combining European classical music with African slave folk songs, jazz has progressed and branched out into many variants over the last few decades. Experimented with and honed by many note-worthy artists including Louie Armstrong, Duke Wellington, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday and Miles Davis to name a few, jazz not only occupies the space of small bars but is an internationally-acclaimed performance-focused genre that has gained the love and respect of many music lovers across the world.
In the hope of paying tribute to this diverse, toe-tapping music, Mercedes Benz will host the second edition of the Colombo Jazz Festival on 18th and 19th February 2017. The Festival will showcase 60 local and international jazz musicians at the Galle Face Hotel, a property which is renowned for its spectacular views but also a favored venue for music lovers, including celebrated jazz musician Duke Wellington who has visited the Coconut Grove – the former hotel nightclub – in 1963. To complement the great lineup of musicians, the festival will also feature a designer market and a several food stalls offering a selection of delicious food including chunks of hot BBQ meats just off the grill, fish and chips, oysters and champagne, a Deli serving cold cuts and cheese and picnic baskets.
The headlining group for the event is Incognito, who have been labelled as everything from a pop band to a Latin jazz ensemble, from a ‘70s-styled funk crew to an acid-jazz collaboration. They will definitely appeal to the dancer in everyone. Well-known musician Mud Morganfield, who combines his own style of music with his father’s – Muddy Waters, dubbed as the ‘Father of Modern Chicago Blues’ – will perform at Colombo Jazz Festival as well.
Other artists include The Kevin Davy Quartet led by Kevin Davy, a London-based trumpeter, composer and arranger, Geoffrey Fernando from Sri Lankan band Purple Rain, Jerome Speldewinde and Brown Sugar.
In addition, there will also be a PR Designers Market featuring a variety of local designer labels including Parkville, Touché, Anuk, Rice & Carry, Pras & Danties, Cher by Chevonne and The Good Market, offering a range clothing, jewelry and accessories.
Tickets are priced at Rs 5000 for a day pass for either dates or Rs 8000 for the weekend pass, which includes entry for both days. For children (under 12yrs) tickets are half price and toddlers are free. Tickets are available from Sugar Bistro Crescat and Odel, 41 Sugar and PR at Horton Place. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.colombojazzfestival.com.