Stepping into the jazz scene: A listener's guide | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 01, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 01, 2017

Stepping into the jazz scene: A listener's guide

Since its beginning jazz allows for improvisation and is enhanced by the performer's capacity to play on with a solo segment. It encourages fusion with any and all styles, from 'the blues' to 'swing to rag-time' to 'folk' to even 'rock', jazz has really “been there and done that.” So it should come as no wonder that almost every musically inclined country has adopted jazz into its music scene. Bangladesh too has embraced it as the younger musical talents are stepping up to add their touch in this widely adaptable style of music.

Often we find that popular music, or the 'pop scene' as we know it, is just not enough to feed the soul in a manner we might need. Dub-step infused EDM, repetitive reggaeton remixes or 'hood'-centred rap dominates the top charts week after week; but the heart craves something more, on a different note. Jazz however is not the first thing or even the tenth thing on a light listener's list, but once in a while it works its magic as a palate cleanser (or in this case as an aural cleanser!)

For the musically inclined, jazz includes instruments like the piano, guitars, saxophone and drums; that's also where the thought process staggers to a halt. Not that many jazz artists and bands are known in this part of the modern world, but the denizens of Dhaka are not that much in the dark either.

All about jazz in Dhaka

The city's music scene is taking baby steps in jazz appreciation. This year alone saw two events so far — The Jazz and Blues Fest held in January and the International Jazz Day Concert in April. Dhaka has on an on-and-off basis hosted various Jazz and Blues concerts since late 2000s, but the most notable year was 2015, which was the “Big Year of Concerts” for Dhaka. 

Jazz as a genre made its own place in the hearts of the audience as international artists like John McLaughlin, China Moses, VasundharaVidalur (only a handful out of the many performers) introduced their own style and twist of the genre. Names like Miles Davis and B B King are no longer unfamiliar to the new aficionados! 

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