Gonsalves Mansion is known as the Home of Jazz in Goa, and not without good reason. The home of the Gonsalves family comprising Armando, his mother Aduzinda and his children Zenisha and Nihal has seen so much jazz action in the last few years that any show at the mansion, draws great expectations which go into great shows.
It all started as verandah shows (the mansion has a 45 metre verandah that hugs the house) when friends of the Gonsalves family would gather on sporadic weekends and enjoy cool live jazz. Foremost amongst the musicians those days were George Fernandez and Carlos Monteiro, dear friends of Armando, and Lester Godinho, Mac Dourado, Colin D’Cruz amongst others. In the early days, friends of all hues would drop by with their instruments and they included violin professor Antonio Peregrino D’Costa who is the next-door neighbour of the Gonsalves.
Many a times, the spirit filled shows lasted till the morning and it was quite a regular feature for some of the diehards who were left behind into the wee hours of the morning, to have the baker deliver fresh bread, which made up for a delicious pre breakfast snack.
It is this spirit that revolutionized the jazz scene in Goa, and slowly but surely, the crowds increased. There is no doubt that the first musicians who performed at the venue did yeomen service to the jazz cause since they performed free of cost, and very often, they also paid for their transportation since there were no funds. However, the pillars of jazz such as Valerio Sequeira and Caetano Filipe Colaco besides Armando himself, dipped into their own pockets and somehow managed to meet the costs simply because they loved music so much. Heritage Jazz salutes Valerio and Caetano besides George, Lester, Carlos, Colin, Mac and the rest, without whom all this would not have been possible,
Being situated in the leafy lanes of Campal, a romantic tree lined spot right in the heart of Panjim, Gonsalves Mansion quickly became a jazz lovers’ ideal spot to relax, unwind, listen to good music and yes, even meet up with friends and connect. What really started off for the fun of it was now Armando’s clearly thrust out job, which was to provide good jazz to the music crazy people of Goa.
Effort aside, the very romance of the home made up one of the most principle reasons why jazz quickly grew at the rapid pace it did. The Gonsalves family threw open the doors of their home to friends, Friend’s friends and anybody’s friends, but the dining table was left only to the musicians where they would gather after the show to have a home cooked meal hosted by Aduzinda Gonsalves, much to the delight of all. This was a deliberate thing that the family did since most musicians complained that they were not treated well at the five star hotels etc.. By opening up the dining room of the home only to musicians, it was a way of saluting them for the wonderful work that they were doing for Goa.
And so, The Heritage Jazz Yatra was born and it continues to this day. And more and more musicians like to perform at a venue that is discussed of as romantic as far as in New York and in Brazil, where musicians who have performed here have gone back with that very special feeling and have shared it with others back in their own homeland.
Cheers to Goa’s Heritage. The Goan home is special, and so are its people.
Check out this also...