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Norah Jones debut concerts in India, but do Indians know jazz music?
Being born and bought up in a Bengali family, my music sensibilities extended to the various forms of Indian Bengali music and of course Bollywood, thus not paying much attention to any other form of music and certainly not to jazz.

It sounded like a pretty word but the real opportunity to know the genre came when Norah Jones decided to do a concert in India for the first time, and I had to do an article on the same. It all started with her number, 'Don't know why' and I was hooked.

Many say that it is practically difficult to define Jazz and according to Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City, it is the kind of music that is all over the place. However, listening to Norah Jone's mellifluous voice and the accompanying instruments, it did not feel that way at all. It was actually quite a treat, nerve calming, peaceful music but how many Indians actually know that?!

Jones, who is one of the best jazz singers, would be touring India from March 3 to March 8, and will be performing in New Delhi on March 5, 6 at Siri Fort Auditorium. Tickets cost from Rs. 2500 to Rs. 6,500 but in Delhi, where Honey Singh rules almost all parties, will she be appreciated?

Anisha Chettri, an avid jazz listener and singer, who is going for the concert, told this citizen journalist , “It is actually sad as Indians do not understand the genre at all. In New Delhi, the concert has become elitist as people who have money will go, irrespective of the fact whether they understand the music or not. There are people who get corporate passes and would go for the concert without even knowing Norah Jones.”

Talking about Norah Jones as the American Jazz singer who won numerable Grammy with her first album, Anisha adds, “I am a big fan and I really associate myself with her first phase then her present albums. It was soulful, calm and little less peppy.”

Many people would object to generalization that Indians do not understand jazz music. Avesh Bhandari, who is also a fan of Norah Jones said, “She is the one who introduced me to jazz music and now I do listen to various other jazz artists but she is one of a kind. Jazz has these complications, which is really alluring and when you are listening to jazz, one's whole universe is just the song and the tune at that point in time.” While he did say that listening to a particular genre is actually a very individual preference but he does know a lot of people who loves listening to jazz.

Priti Thapa is not a jazz enthusiast but she loves Norah Jones and feels that she 'identifies with the her songs. It is almost an emotional connect' that Thapa has with Jones. While talking to various people, it also felt that a lot of the crowd have not been exposed to the genre. Another downside to this particular music, which has a lot of air based instruments and a low tempo is also that in India, it is limited to the bars and it is prevalent as a bar culture. An anonymous source also said that jazz bands and singers are present in India but they have to fall back on Bollywood singing to earn their livilihood. Sad but true. Hopefully, Jones coming to India will bring some change in the scenario.

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