05 Dec 2023  |   04:17am IST

Goan talent flowering on the international stage

Bands are now playing in destinations as diverse as the Arab world and the Americas
Goan talent flowering on the international stage

Ajit John

Goan bands and musicians are now travelling the world entertaining the masses. This has increasingly become a trend and it is expected to increase in the New Year. For quite a few the world is certainly their oyster.

For veteran musician Colin D’cruz of Jazz Junction, it has been a busy year with shows in Russia, Macau, USA and Canada. Plans are afoot for more shows In Canada in July 2024 as the opening act for A26 in three more shows scheduled in that country. Colin said, “Bands that were really good would catch the attention of someone in some part of the world and they get invited. This is the digital age and most bands have their music uploaded online which can be accessed by anyone anywhere and that’s how it all happens.”

One of the more popular bands in the state is undoubtedly A26. Lester the lead vocalist and band manager said there were plans for a show in Canada in July. He said the band was doing several shows out of Goa in various cities of the country. He said they were not targeting business abroad but when they received enquiries, they would not turn it down if their conditions were all met. The band he said charged around Rs 5.5 lakhs per show. Lester said they were living out of a briefcase with several shows taking place every month. They were doing several weddings and hi end parties. They were also planning a one off show in New Zealand for the Indian community in that country. Lester laughed and said that people think it is a great life travelling all over the world but it was a job. Technically he said their passion had become a business. India he said was booming and so business was booming too. They had 18 shows in December, with many of them in different cities of the country like Kolkata, Mumbai and Bengaluru. He said cities like Lucknow were now opening up and Rajasthan was a state they went to quite regularly. He ended by saying going abroad was great but there was a lot of business in the country too.

Another popular band in Goa is Black in White. Edmund Gomes, the bassist in the band said they had performed in London in August and were now planning to travel to Vietnam and Bahrain in January. They would be entertaining in private events. He said they were getting business thanks to their presence on various digital platforms. But he said the best advertising for them was when they performed abroad and people would see and hear them first hand. That would then convince the prospective clients to hire them. In December they would be based in Goa doing weddings and sangeet and corporate events. The charge incurred he said would depend on several aspects. The client would bear all their costs like stay and transport. In Goa he said they would do Goan weddings as well as destination weddings and to cater to the evolving needs of clients, they would perform in English as well as Hindi.

For Tony Fernandes the bassist of Tidal Waves, the need for new work was there but was not desperate. He said, “If someone likes us they will hire us. We don’t market ourselves. Yes, we did Dubai recently, we performed in a pub. We performed in Dubai twice and once in the UK. Two of them were Goan cultural events and one was the pub gig.” He said their music was available on Youtube, Instagram and other platforms. He said they were on these platforms but not in the manner as was required in this day and age. This month they will be performing in Bengaluru. The band of four charges Rs.95,000 per show.

For actress and singer Ester Noronha who has done Konkani shows in Canada and the UAE, the need to gauge reactions to her new songs was very important. She said, “Quality is very important and I present the show based on the organisers and audience’s request. I have enquiries for shows in Kuwait and the UK from the Goan community, even Dubai”. She said her charges were always on the requirements of the organisers”.

Goan entertainers are known for their talent and their expertise and this is becoming increasingly common knowledge around the world. Expect many more Goan bands and entertainers to make it to the international stage in the years to come.


Iddhar Udhar