When jazz Music was the order of the day in Mussoorie
During peak of the British era, summer capital Shimla being considered excessively ceremonial, the fun and music loving British population headed towards Mussoorie.
Mussoorie became famous as the “pleasure capital of the Raj” and gained popularity as a biggest entertainment centre in North India. The town on weekends would buzz with various kinds of entertainment activities at hotels such as Savoy, Hakmans, and Imperial.
The creative fraternity from far and wide also made beeline for Mussoorie looking to make a name for themselves and additional revenue, in front of the jazz-loving audience that was tailor made for them.
The eminent author of the book “Mussoorie Medley: The Tales from Yesteryears,” Ganesh Saili is of the view that, 1920s also known as “roaring twenties”, a phrase used to describe the period’s social, artistic and cultural dynamism, led to the influx of hoards of musicians towards Mussoorie.
It was in this period that normalcy returned to politics, which was due in the wake of the World War 1, and the jazz music blossomed. The jazz bands became a regular feature, especially at the Savoy Hotel in Mussoorie till 1940’s, added Ganesh Saili.
Among these, Ike Isaacs was one of the jazz artists who left Calcutta (now Kolkota) for Mussoorie. Very little documented material is available on Ike Isaacs, but according to Eddie Fowler, who while constructing the website of jazz guitarist for Vernon Chester, Ike Isaacs was born in Rangoon, Burma, in 1919, forebears being of Baghdadi Jewish origins. They immigrated to London as young adults, where his son Mark was born.