Tag-Archive for » Lucilla Pacheco «

The Man Who Was Untired of Repetitions


The bandleader Mickey Correa, the last link to an incredibly rich part of Bombay’s musical history, passed away today at the age of 98. This picture was probably shot around 1939, when Correa was hired to lead an orchestra at the Taj in Bombay. He stayed there until 1961. Over the decades, his band was a nursery for fresh  talent. The musicians who emerged from his ensemble included the pianist Lucilla Pacheco, the saxophonists Johnny Baptist, Norman Mobsby and George Pacheco, and the trumpet players Chic Chocolate and Frank Fernand.

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A Woman in a Man’s World

Lucilla Pacheco plays the saxophone at Green’s Hotel. It wasn’t an instrument she usually played.

One evening in 2007, as I wrapped up a presentation at an art festival in  Panjim on the role Goan jazz musicians had played in bringing swing to the Hindi film industry in the 1950s, a woman came up to me with tears in her eyes. “You played a track with my mummy on it,” she said.

Her mother, I knew immediately, was the pioneering pianist Lucilla Pacheco. In the 1940s, Lucilla Pacheco was one of the few women on the Bombay jazz scene, playing in the all-star band of Mickey Correa at the Taj Mahal Hotel and with the Anglo-Indian band leader Ken Mac. She later joined the Hindi film industry, and performed regularly with the arranger Anthony Gonsalves. But she isn’t remembered merely for being a woman in a man’s world. In the 1960s, she introduced the Hindi films to their first electronic instrument: the Solovox.

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