MIT-India and Harvard South Asia Institute
present South Asia and Its Diasporas, a speakers series
Jazz Goes to Bollywood
with Naresh Fernandes
Author of Taj Mahal Foxtrot: The Story of Bombay’s Jazz Age
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 6:00-8:00pm
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Tang Center, Building E51, Room 275
2 Amherst Street @ Wadsworth Street, Cambridge
Discussant: Vivek Bald, Associate Professor
Comparative Media Studies/Writing, MIT
In the late 1950s, a period acknowledged as the Golden Era of Hindi film music, Bollywood songs were enlivened by a rather unusual influence: jazz. This presentation will explain how a group of journeymen jazz musicians fleeing racism in the U.S. in the 1930s gave India a taste for hot music, and how these syncopated sounds found their way into the Hindi film studios. It will also explore how political ideas traveled the other way, as African Americans sought Gandhi’s advice on their political struggles.
Naresh Fernandes is the author of Taj Mahal Foxtrot: The Story of Bombay’s Jazz Age. He is the editor of Scroll India, which is a very interesting reading source online, worth checking out.