Education Presentation – Preview

We were delighted  to preview our Education Presentation on Finding Carlton – Uncovering the Story of Jazz in India at the RIVAA Gallery , December 11,2011.
Our groundbreaking documentary film  tells a little known story of the Jazz diaspora.  This  inspirational film is a cross cultural journey that is endearing and entertaining while educating viewers on a historical arc that spans from 1926 to 1978.
The 70 min presentation is focused on the historical underlay of the film and traces key elements of its journey through photos, audio, and excerpts from the film, and is followed by Q&A.  At RIVAA , we were pleased to have live jazz  to add to the mood – featuring Dr. Ben and the Bailout  

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The first known recording of Jazz in India was in Calcutta in 1926. Brought to India, first by European dance bands, and then in pursuit of the ‘real thing” imports via Paris and direct from the legendary Savoy in Harlem. By the 40’s jazz found its way into a generation of Indian musicians, often mentored by expatriate African-American jazzmen fresh from the cafes of Montmatre. In India local stars rose to prominence in a ‘golden age’ that soon led to an embrace of jazz in Bollywood. Then, it faded away as political and economic pressures left few outlets for passionate jazz musician and their fans.

The research for this film began in 2008. It was apparent that little was known about this story, both in the USA and elsewhere. In India, an effort had been made in the 70’s to gather information about this history and establish a documented legacy.  However, the focus of jazz studies, world-wide, was primarily around the development of jazz in America, and its subsequent assimilation into American popular music. There has been little or no interest in the spread of jazz beyond a few cities in Europe and its embrace by cultures that lay further East.

In India,this story is little known, and its last remaining participants are few and fading.  Documents and archival photos are scattered and in poor condition. Today’s jazz generation in India does not know the history of Indian jazz, its powerful origins, its unique adaptation and the efforts and talent of the musicians and fans that gave it life.

The film is available for preview  screenings at select venues that can sponsor a screening and Q&A session.  For requirements. please contact

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