Letter From Dominic Gonsalves ~ January 4, 2012

Dominic Gonsalves

A letter from Mr. Dominic Gonsalves to Menin Rodrigues.  

Regarding information not being accurately recorded in a few published articles.

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January 4, 2012

Hi Menin! First of all I would like to wish you Happy New Year 2012.  I had great pleasure reading about the Goans in Pakistan and their contribution to the country.  It is indeed an awesome effort on your part to research the vast areas in which Goans have made a contribution and to honour them by making mention of their names on your site.
My email in particular refers to the section music and bands as I have made note of a few discrepancies that I came across. My aim is for you to have the correct information irrespective of whether it gets corrected or not.
Firstly, that my good friend the late Alex Rodrigues a great musician was never associated with either Alamgir or Sheikhi.
I first started playing with Alamgir in the early 70’s and featured regularly on PTV’s Sunday Ke Sunday and Jhankar.  Later on I decided to play for Sheikhi too on a regular basis helping him out with a few compositions.  If you would like to confirm that fact I would be more than happy to provide you with the contact numbers of both those artists.
Secondly, the late Felix Carvalho also a good friend of mine and a brilliant musician was never associated with Alamgir. The fact of the matter is that Felix who also played in my band was not into eastern music.  For your information I was the first Goan to be employed (full time) by Radio Pakistan as Music Director (worked for 35 years) and Pakistan Television as a session musician as I am well versed in both Western and Eastern music.
Dominic Gonsalves
I was also the first Goan to appear in a feature film “Dhamaka” in 1974 (opening scene with band on stage) starring Javed Sheikh. I also had the pleasure of playing along with Paul Gonsalves and The Duke Ellington Orchestra and Dave Brubeck Quartet.  This was also misreported in Kaleem Omar’s article (Nobody in Karachi whistles anymore) published in 2006.
I was employed by Metropole Hotel at the time. I am now 84 years old and my memory is as good as ever. I migrated to Australia in 2005 and was a bit disappointed when I read that article online. I have tried to get the contact details of Kaleem Omar but have been unsuccessful. If by any chance you have his contact details please forward that to me so that I can clarify the matter.
 Dominic Gonsalves
I still play the sax with the U3A (University of the Third Age) in Melbourne and jammed up with Don Burrows in Sydney a few years ago. I hope the information that I have provided you gives you more insight into the musical history of Pakistan.
If I can be of any help and if you need further clarification on the above matters please don’t hesitate to contact me via email or Facebook (Don Gonsalves)

Peace Pipes ~ 60s

‘Peace Pipes’ ~ Danny Manuel, Tony Fernandes, Leon Davis, and Manuel (Manu) Fernandes.
Artwork ~ by ldg © Legendary Musicians of Karachi

© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

The Band ‘Peace Pipes’ at the Catholic Colony,  September 1968 with Danny Manuel, Tony Fernandes, Leon Davis & Manuel Fernandes.

Category ~  Musicians of Karachi
Photograph contributed by Charlotte Gomes
Artwork ~ by ldg

Comments:

Theresa Barrett ~ Hey Lynette, that is my uncle Tony on drums! Wow, where did you get this pic.  It is priceless.  I don’t think I have ever seen pics of Tony and the band in their heyday.  Thanks for posting. This is very special!

Solomon David Clements ~  bass player is danny manuel , guitar player looks like manuel fernandes

Charlotte Gomes ~ Hey Lyn, thanks so much for posting this.. you are such a sweetheart.  I will send this to Manu and Rosy (Clive’s parents).. I just spoke to Manu a few days ago and he said he really appreciated this.. thanks 🙂

Richard Phillips ~ Wow that’s my cousin Leon this is in the house that his sister Dawn is still living in.

Robin Panjwaneey ~ Saw them playing at the old village restaurant which was THEN next to the Metropole Hotel.

Neil Clemonz ~ LMK is an excellent & outstanding chronological memoirs of all the great musicians that have contributed even sacrificed, over the years and generations, with their unique muscianship, talents & pure genius, they really are the pioneers & founders, responsible for planting the seed of world class music in Karachi.  That is why they will always be remembered and revered with utmost  love, gratitude and admiration 🙂

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The Moonglows ~ 60s

The Moonglows

© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Category ~ Legendary Musicians of Karachi


The Moonglows
 of the 60s with Ronnie Rangel,  Norman D’souza, Colin D’souza, Dominic Fernandes and Maximus Fernandes

Photographs contributed ~ by Bosco D’souza
Artwork ~ by ldg 


The Moonglows ~ November ’65
© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Ron Pinto ~ That’s Colin’s old guitar he used to lend me !!

Tahir Gul Hasan ~ Man!

The Moonglows ~ 1960s
© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Michael Sylvester Rodrigues ~ I luv this pic!!! even before my time..I did hear of them…u know what!!!! I missed so much…even being there…

The Moonglows ~ 1960s
© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Ivan Bawa ~ Great band! I used to watch them at the Beach Luxury Hotel, when ‘Ivan’s Aces’ was playing at the Palace Hotel in 1970.

The Moonglows at Midway House
© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Kevin Mendonca ~ I used to love how Dominic would have his stuff displayed in his tailor shop window and loved chatting about music and the bands of those days

The Moonglows ~ 1960s
© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Rhythm Quintet ~ early 60s

© Legendary Musicians of Karachi & Ron Pinto

Category ~ Legendary Musicians of Karachi


Tony Pinto
of the original Rhythm Quintet doing a Jim Reeves coverLittle Old Dime
Played, arranged and recorded/mixed ~ by Ron Pinto 

Rupert D’costa ~ “This was one of the most famous and popular bands at that time in karachi…they mostly played for weddings then.  Tony Pinto’s brother Thaddeus was my best freind and classmate”

Allan D’souza ~ “Priceless memories. John worked with my dad at Grindlays Bank for years until dad retired. Paul used to front up uninvited with his sax and jam with us at the Village restaurant in Karachi”.

Rhythm Quintet of the early 60s with Peter Soares, John SoaresPaul Soares, Alex Soares, Thaddeus Pinto and Tony Pinto.  This band was also known as the Soares Brothers before Thaddeus Pinto and Tony Pinto joined the band.

Photographs contributed by Lawrence Soares

Artwork ~ by ldg

Rhythm Quintet – Photographs contributed by Lawrence Soares
Artwork by ~ ldg © Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Ron Pinto ~ “They were great neighbours………..and really cool guys!  used to steal that black guitar to learn to play………..when the man wasn’t around !!

Kevin Mendonca ~ “Everybody growing up in those days that loved music knew or heard about the Soares brothers, they are legends!”

Nori ~ A beautiful face with a beautiful voice – 50s

© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

This beautiful elegant woman who performed with some of Karachi’s finest jazz musicians of the early 50s and 60s was almost forgotten… until we dug these up.

Nori on vocals, Alex Rodrigues on saxophone and John Fernandes on trumpet

Nori ~ A beautiful face with a beautiful voice

Photographs contributed by Irene Fernandes Washington
Artwork ~ ldg © Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Alex Rodrigues ~ The Jazz Man

Alex Rodrigues

Category ~ Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Extract taken from – Broken Souvenirs-Part6

Alex Rodrigues was one of the most recognisable faces in the iconoclastic world of jazz in Pakistan. His sedate but soulful saxophone sessions were just the right salve for a weary traveller in a hotel lobby–a popular soundstage for his performances which spanned six decades.

At the age of 17, he started playing the sax and clarinet–his favourite musical instruments–under the tutelage of Karachi-based musician Nicky Correa.

Although Alex did not go to a music school for training, he had the natural skills to carry his passion for sax playing to the highest standard.

“In the early 30s I joined the Islamabad Hotel Sherzade. I played there for about 5 to 6 years,” said Rodrigues in an interview conducted a few months before his death.

Alex then began playing for the Inter Continental hotel, later renamed the Pearl

Continental hotel. On and off Alex played for this hotel for almost 40 years.

His career brimmed with tales of early jazz bands and memorabilia from the subcontinental evocations of mainly Western music.

In 1941 he was invited by star crooner Janno Vaz, also a talented sax player, to join a jazz band. Rodrigues counts that band as the first full-fledged jazz ensemble in the yet to be formed Pakistan. Next he became associated with Alex Correa’s band. Rodrigues’ mean sax playing and the band’s lively renditions was instantly noticed by The American Patrol, a popular U.S. band which was on tour in the Asian subcontinent.

Glenn Miller’s band also visited the city and appreciated the performances of Rodrigues’ band.

“At the KGA where the acoustics are good we out-performed some of the visiting American bands,” he said, recalling his pre-partition days of fame. “Our band was invited to the United States several times but we never did make the trip,” he said. That was indeed a golden era–a time when musical instruments were cheap and easy to procure.

His brief appearances in church and community functions were equally memorable. Sometime in the ’60s Rodrigues played with big-name jazz player Dave Bubeck. “I felt so important (during the collaborative performance) at Denso Hall,” he said. He collaborated also with Pakistani singer Muhammad Ali Shaikhi.

His musical genius allowed him to become an ambassador for his country and his minority Christian community. Rodrigues was part of the official Pakistani cultural troupe that visited Britain some years ago.

His one regret was that jazz, his favourite style of music, was even less understood than appreciated in his country. That was particularly disappointing since he felt that he had evolved his own style. “The sax is such a mellow instrument. My technique is unique and nobody seems to have picked it up.”

Alex Correa & Nicky Correa

Alex was ranked by both his peers and colleagues alike as the best percussionist in Karachi.

Nicky Correa was equally adept at playing all instruments. Both men were the front men for a string of popular bands.

The two musicians stayed together. “I felt I was lost when they passed away,” Alex Rodrigues, their lifetime friend and colleague, said.

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Hilary Rodrigues is the grandson of the great Alex Rodrigues and has dedicated this clip to him and the Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Additional information by ldg

The name of the jazz musician that Alex played with at Denso Hall was David Brubeck.

The name was incorrectly recorded on Broken Souvenirs

It was 1958 when Dave Brubeck visited Karachi.