On Friday evening , the 14th of October 2011, the Carlton Kitto Jazz Ensemble will open a three day international jazz event in Bombay ….Carlton’s set will be followed by Jon Faddis. The next two days feature Steve Turre, the Cedar Walton Trio, and Louis Hayes and the Cannonball Legacy .
Great stuff, and its truly righteous that our friend Carlton Kitto has been finally recognized by the local jazz cogniscenti .. its just marvellous to read the listing on their website:
For this talented and dedicated professional who has survived by eking out a meagre living in Calcutta, and has been passed by and indeed ignored by the grand pooh-bahs of Jazz in India , this is an amazing honor and recognition …long, long, overdue …
Regardless of the fact that we cant help wondering whether our film has played some small part in this (rewind to June 2009 in India, in conversation with one of the grand poo-bahs: “carlton who ?”) we are simply delighted, turning cartwheels and standing on our head while applauding the team at the NCPA that made this singular honor occur. Join us in a well-deserved round of applause for the committee that helped make this happen…well done !
Yes, this is indeed righteous ..So what’s the bittersweet angle to this post ?
Well, to delve into this we must breach the delicate fiction that often surrounds our perspective of the musician/artist…our romantic image of the musician who is just happy to play , and cares nought about money or reward.. It turns out that regardless of their laudable effort to bring Carlton to recognition, the NCPA had a different perspective on his economic value..and in effect decreed that although his musical talent is enough to earn him a place on stage with some well respected names in jazz ,the value of his music for the evening is the same as what he might make for a local gig in Calcutta..approximately 5%, yes thats right just 5%, of what will be renumerated to the names we mentioned earlier. ..far, far less than what might be fair when playing a ticketed gig, on an international stage with some of the best known names in jazz !