International Jazz Day: 7 Spots Keeping The Jazz Music Scene Alive In India


You might have seen Usha Uthup’s viral video where the veteran singer is witnessed singing Miley Cyrus’ Grammy-winning song Flowers with her own spin. She performed it live at the iconic Jazz club, Trincas in Kolkata. There, she has been a regular performer since the late 1960s, even after rising to fame as a playback singer. 

Trincas – which was established in 1936 as a tearoom and bakery – began reviving Jazz in Kolkata in 2021. But if we go back in history, it was African American musicians like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington who brought the genre to Mumbai and Kolkata through their music tours. Later, the iconic Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai is credited for becoming one of the first places to bring the Jazz era to the country. Artists like Josic Menzie, Franklin Fernandes and Chic Chocolate aka the Louis Armstrong of Bombay – who made it big back then by playing the trumpet on many Bollywood songs – have performed at the iconic hotel.  

Usha Uthup
Usha Uthup performing at Trincas back in the day

Unfortunately, jazz began to see its demise in the late 1960s when rock started emerging among the younger generation. Rock was also seen as a more democratic genre, as opposed to jazz, which became synonymous with music for the elite. However, today, certain places are keeping the spirit of jazz alive and are spearheading its resurgence. If you are a jazz fan, turn to these clubs, hotels and bars for jazz nights that are uniting the community of jazz lovers this International Jazz Day. 

1. Trincas, Kolkata


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Trincas came into the spotlight after Usha Uthup’s recent performance. However, everyone in Kolkata is very well acquainted with the Jazz performances, with its founder Anand Puri helming its revival. “Trincas seized this opportunity to reintroduce the city to the enchanting rhythms of jazz, launching their iconic Weekend Jazz Lunches every Saturday and Sunday. Anchored by the acclaimed Willie Walter’s Quartet, formed exclusively for this purpose, these performances have become a beloved tradition, drawing music enthusiasts from far and wide,” Anand shares. 

2. The Piano Man, Gurugram and New Delhi

Launched to create an intimate space for emerging musicians to perform, The Piano Man has been instrumental in reviving the Jazz era by bringing legendary Jazz artists to perform in Delhi and Gurugram. But one of the major highlights of TPM is the fact that its founder, Arjun Sagar Gupta, has managed to get the crowd to actually pay attention to the musicians on stage – the bar shuts down and waiters stop serving, putting the spotlight on the music itself.

3. AMPM, Kolkata


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Within a year of its launch, the coffee house and cocktail bar has become a frequented spot for people to unwind over good food and drinks, and live music to groove to, amidst an ambience that takes you back to the Victorian era. This International Jazz Day, AMPM Kolkata pays tribute to pioneering spirits and enduring influence on the world of Jazz by celebrating Jazz icons Miles Davis (known for his trumpet sound) and John Coltrane (known for his mesmerising saxophone mastery), brought to life by The Yohei Saito Sextet.

4. Bombay Jazz Club, Mumbai  

Known for bringing many live musical performances to the forefront in many genres including jazz, of course, The Bombay Jazz Club is celebrating International Jazz Day by collaborating with Irish House for a jazz gig by Jazz Nation on April 30. Find Schubert Vaz (keys), Anand Vaity (saxophone), William Fernandes (drums) and Steve Francis (bass guitar) deliver an electrifying jazz performance. 

5. Skinny Mo’s Jazz Club, Kolkata 

An ode to the past and future, Skinny Mo’s is dedicated to the city’s love affair with jazz. The club has been celebrating the genre with a Vinyl listening session this week, featuring handpicked iconic records spanning from the 1930s to the present day. It will be a journey through the evolution of Jazz, featuring timeless melodies and rhythms that have shaped music history. Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a curious newcomer, this experience promises to delight and inspire.

6. The Quarter, Mumbai


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Legendary musician Ranjit Barot, musician and entrepreneur Ashu Phatak (of Blue Frog and True School of Music) and businessman and investor Nakul Toshniwal came together to launch Mumbai’s first New York-styled jazz bar in 2017. The Quarter, at The Royal Opera House comes with an indoor and outdoor dining area and live music venue that gives emerging artists a platform to showcase their talent. Since its inception, The Quarter has hosted multiple homegrown talents along with the jazz giant Erik Truffaz.

7. The Flying Goat, Goa 

This bookstore and cafe is known for its Friday Night Jazz and Jazz Odyssey, which brings renowned artists in the genre to perform live. The Flying Goat in Goa has witnessed artists like Lars Møller, a Danish Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and The Dam Jawn quintet from Amsterdam, among others.

- Lifestyle Editor


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