Having opened just recently, the kind of line ups, noise, and just the amount of love and support this venue has been receiving is amazing!
We had a conversation with the Founders of this beautiful venue. Here is what they had to say:
Your vision for this venue
The vision is primarily to set a new benchmark in the cultural space of the city, a dedicated space to showcase fine talent. The Quarter will be a regeneration of music and food, giving the audience an experience of culture, food and music in one space. The Quarter is a space where creative minds collaborate. We will create exclusive content and produce for our ‘live’ experiences. We are going to set a benchmark for programming and do have a truly talented set of musicians and artists on board already.
Tell us about the idea of coming up with 4 different corners. How and Why are each corner so different from the other?
The Quarter comprises Live at The Quarter, which is the 80 seats live venue for gigs, Drink at The Quarter is the wine and mozzarella bar, Café at The Quarter is the all-day café and Dine at The Quarter is the al-fresco restaurant. All the eateries have a different menu. Live at The Quarter will be serving bar snacks where as Drink at The Quarter will have an extensive wine and artisanal cheese which is sourced from vendors across the country. Café at The Quarter will mainly serve Salads, Sandwiches, Pizza, etc, made with local produce and in house breads. Dine at The Quarter will be a global mix, made with the freshest indigenous produce.
Why the name?
When we had finalised the property and the concept that we wished to present, we were still struggling to find a suitable name. One evening, over a meal at Ranjit’s home, Nico’s wife, Kamal suggested ‘The Quarter’. It made perfect sense and fit in effortlessly with what we were hoping to create. Lo! and Behold! The Quarter it is!
Tell us about how you see this venue as a significant mark in the history of Bombay Jazz?
Well, to start with the location is iconic. With the Royal Opera House as a backdrop and an address filled with the glorious history of Bombay, The Quarter will, certainly, make a mark in the history of Bombay jazz. We have conceived an exclusive Artists in Residence programme where we will not only collaborate some of the brightest stars in the world of music but also create for and with them. Parekh and Singh were our first Artists in Residence and they brought the house down in the first week itself. Indus Creed is next in line and we are sure they will rock the room.
Why the Opera House?
Ashu: Nakul Toshniwal was really keen on setting up a jazz club and wanted me to get involved. After a few months of deliberation I decided to go for it! My mentor Ranjit Barot was teaching at the True School of Music and loved the idea and two became three.
We saw many spaces in Mumbai but didn’t really connect with any. Then one day at a party I met my good friend Nico, and he said that he was about to start a jazz club! I asked him where he was setting it up and he said at the Opera House. I asked “Where at Opera House”; and he said “INSIDE the Opera House” and that was that. And then three became four! We shook hands and the quarter was born. Serendipity!
Tell about how the venue is designed, the acoustics, who designed it, and your ideas behind the decor?
The venue has been designed by Abha Nairain Lambah who has restored and refurbished The Royal Opera House. She has very naturally translated the essence of the city in the 4 spaces. Evocative of a 1950s art deco jazz bar, Live at The Quarter will host performances in the evening from Wednesday till Sunday every week. As for the acoustics at ‘Live’, it was designed by the Andy Munro team led by Kapil Thirwani. ‘Live’ was designed to be an intimate listening experience where the live stage sound and amplified sound combines into a warm and immersive experience, which is the perfect listening environment. The bright and warm all-day Café at the Quarter, filled with natural light from the large bay windows, will be where you go when you seek a spot a quiet contemplation in the morning, want to catch up with friends for lunch during the afternoon or get a quick bite before a show in the evening. ‘Drink’ at The Quarter will exude the grandeur and elegance of another era with upright chandeliers and beveled mirrors. ‘Dine’ at The Quarter, an open air al-fresco restaurant, will open on December 8th.
Tell us about the line ups and activities planned at the ‘Live’ corner?
We fondly refer to ‘Live’ as our Jazz Club, however, we program jazz from a holistic sense where great musicians get on stage with an element of improvisation for performances that are unique and one of a kind. We will be creating concepts like tributes, artist in residences (which involve collaborations between artists), and other specially created thematic acts led by our artistic director Ranjit Barot.
What’s lined up for the venue in the coming months?
Israeli Jazz Music Appreciation at The Quarter by Eran Har Even (Israel) on December 13th.
Kush Upadhyay Group at The Quarter on December 14th.
Rhythm Shaw & Gino Banks at The Quarter on December 15th.
We also have our weekly recurring Sunday Jazz Sundowners.