World Jazz Fest 2024: All aboard the Blue Train


chi quartet

Chi Quartet Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“The World Jazz Festival was born out of friendship with jazz players in Europe and the United States,” says Mahesh Babu, the curator, and that is why this symphony of world music is coming to Bengaluru this weekend.

Mahesh Babu founded Banyan Tree in 1996 with his wife Nandini Mahesh. “In the last 28 years, we have organized classical, folk and Sufi concerts. Four years ago, we started this jazz festival in collaboration with the Netherlands-based Amersfoort Jazz Festival because we believe that there is a demand in India for all types of jazz – old school and new era. I think jazz is beautiful, interesting and makes some lovely music,” says Mahesh.

“This year, we will travel to five cities. Dehradun was specifically designed for the senior citizens of the city. The World Jazz Festival went there for the first time last year and since they liked our line-up so much, we returned this year. From there we travel to Delhi, Bangalore, Bombay and end up in Pune.

Ben Van Den Dungen

Ben Van Den Dungen | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

According to Mahesh, shortlisting the artists to perform at each edition of the festival required six months of brainstorming and discussions with his colleagues in Europe, especially Alexander Beets, one of the directors of the Amersfoort Festival. . Amersfoort, which is in its 45th year, is an open air jazz festival held annually in Amersfoort, Netherlands.

The World Jazz Fest in Bengaluru will see artists from South Africa, the United States, the Netherlands and other countries performing, including jazz maestro Guitar Prasanna, who also specializes in Carnatic music.

The two-hour event will pay tribute to two legends – John Coltrane and Horace Silver. Other bands will perform such as the Tom Van Der Zal Quintet, Chi Quartet, South African Jazz Legacy and the New York Round Midnight Orchestra.

A certain segment of the evening is devoted to jazz standards from the Great American Songbook and will include music from New York of the 1950s.

New York Round Midnight Orchestra ft.  Alexander Hurricane Beats

New York Round Midnight Orchestra ft. Alexander Hurricane Beats | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“While the festival will be a gift to jazz lovers, even those who don’t know about the genre will enjoy it,” says Mahesh.

The World Jazz Festival will be held on April 19 at Chaudiya Memorial Hall. Tickets are available on

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