Come on UK Goans – wake up and smell the coffee!  You missed a great opportunity to get out of a humdrum day on Sunday 16 September 2007 and instead enjoy a truly inspiring experience of raw talent within our community.

The event was much publicised – a Jam Session held at the ATC Hall, South Wimbledon organised under the banner of the Goan Musical Society with the support of the GOA UK – a repeat of one held in 2005.  Once again, musicians of all ages and abilities were invited to participate and showcase their individual talents and later join in a jamming session.  The response was wonderful and each of them – with Marieta de Almeida the youngest at only 8 – stunned the audience with their musical abilities and confidence and excellent choice of tunes.

The programme for the youth started with Martin Gracias not only playing the clarinet but bringing tears to the eyes with his sweet singing of Panis Angelicus.  Then followed Jessica de Souza – the cute youngest of a talented family of 4 playing the violin, her sister Louise on the keyboard, brother Robert on the trumpet, and eldest Adrian on the clarinet and sax. Marieta’s rendering of Irish music and the hornpipes started her impressive selection of tunes on the violin.  We then had Nathan Lobo who was another real maestro on the violin, accompanied by his cousin Rachel Fernandes on the flute and guitar.  Nathan also sang Pie Jesu with aplomb and finally an animated duet with Rachel’s brother Aaron.

After the interval, the quality of the enjoyment went up several notches with the more accomplished musicians jamming together and boy, they were GOOD.  Confident young Adrian and brother Robert bravely joined them.  Coordinating them all were Ian Rebello – sax, Simon Pires – rhythm & bass and Ian Fernandes – trumpet.  They were joined by Joao Paulo Cota – flute, Derek da Veiga – mandolin, Mario Fernandes – rhythm guitar, Xavier Peres, Mark Fernandes, Rose Remedios – keyboards, Steve Hancock – guitar and Jose Miranda – guitar with his truly exceptional voice rendering favourite Brazilian bossa novas.  Paul de Souza – a terrific bass singer, had us all toe-tapping to old favourites and Mark impressed us too with his own compositions.

It was really sad to close the proceedings on these notes, but the general consensus is to repeat this event next year and allow more opportunity for others to appreciate and support the burgeoning music talent that we have here in the UK.

None of the above sought to gain fame or recognition but were there to welcome the chance to play with like-minded people.  In turn, the organisers have not set out to make a profit from this but truly feel that music begets a good feeling of love, camaraderie and enjoyment in all its forms.

Before we record our thanks, we would like to convey wishes for a speedy recovery to drummer, Desmond Fernandes, who took ill the day before. We are extremely grateful to each and every one who participated, helped, cheered and particularly to Chico for his equipment and technical expertise.

Benny de Souza of Black Velvet fame enthusiastically took photos and the link to these is:


Certainly, an event not to be missed in the future.

Submitted by Anita Rebello