UNESCO recently declared the 30th of April as International jazz day, encouraging worldwide participation on and around the 30th of April every year. Jazz Goa celebrated it in style on the 1st of May in a second edition of 'Concert in the park' at the beautifully renovated Jardim Garcia da Orta in Panjim. the crowd turnout was nothing short of phenomenal with all seating arrangement filling in even before kick off time at 6pm. The rest of the huge gathering filed in around 7pm and were happy to stand through some rivetting performances that simply took thier breath away. The concert had celebrity show host Raymond Alburqueque at the helm introducing every act with his usual flair to give the show a classy edge. The Panjim Open Philharmonic made up of amateur and professional musicians took the stage on the dot of six and went through their repertoire with finnese guided by founding member Rui Lobo.
Then came Raymonds announcement of Jazz Goa's official participation in the International jazz day inviting Jazz Junction to take the stage with Yvonne Gonsalves on vocals, Joshua Costa on keyboards, Colin D'Cruz on fretless bass and Lester Godinho on drums. The quartet simply blew the crowd away at the outset itself opening with a swinging original called 'Jazz Goa Blues' followed by their own versions of jazz standards like 'Triste' and 'You don't know what love is' including contemporory jazz tunes like 'Shoulder' and 'Any place I hang my hat is home'. They then invited Canadian jazz singer Steffano Rochetti to jam on 'Georgia' and 'Autumn Leaves'. Steffano is a showman extraordinaire, the crowd just could not get enough of him, he left the stage promising to be back after a beer. Jazz Junction wound up their set with a tune aptly titled 'That's all'. UK guitarist Chris Jolly and singer Zezinho Fernandes then filled in with a couple of mellow tunes while Goa's hot new act 'Smoking Chutney' prepared to blow the jam packed park away in a sizzling hour long set. Smoking Chutney featured Benoy Rai on guitar and vocals, Colin D'Cruz on bass and Dennis Coelho on drums with Goa's ace percussionist Carlos Gonsalves jamming in as a guest along with UK singer Jan Graveson. The band opened with a smoking rendition of John Scofield's 'Do like Eddie' that had Benoy's fiery guitar solos sitting on Dennis and Colin's tight drum and bass grooves. Then came the tune 'Tightrope' this time showcasing Benoy's vocal talent as well. Another smoking blues called 'Red House' and it was time for Jan Graveson to join Smoking Chutney to pump up the already adrenalized band. Jan showed the audience what 'showtime' is all about with high energy renditions of the Police's 'Message in a bottle' and the Beatle's 'Come together'. Jan's was a tough act to follow but showman Steffano took it in his stride taking the stage again with an absolutely amazing rendition of 'Hoochie Coochie man'. It was now way past closing time but the crowd stayed rivetted demanding an encore that turned out to be the ultimate show stopper - an original tune titled 'Smoking Chutney' by the closing act 'Smoking Chutney'. The show ended with Raymond promising many more concerts in the park.