Finding Carlton, an original and lovingly crafted new HD documentary documentary of the story of jazz in India, explores the African American jazz diaspora in South Asia, and, for the first time, brings to life a remarkable example of early cultural globalization.

Built around a portrait of surviving Indian jazzman, the maverick guitarist Carlton Kitto, audiences are taken on a richly atmospheric journey into India¹s little-known jazz age that lasted from the 1920s to the 1970s and until now has gone unrecorded in the history of that country and the history of jazz.

What emerges is the unknown and mesmerizing story of a bygone era and the testimony of one of its last survivors, Carlton Kitto. A maverick dedicated to pure jazz, particularly bebop, Carlton, 68, is an unsung cultural custodian who has nurtured hundreds of young musicians in the jazz idiom, and who still plays to half-empty Calcutta hotels.


Weaving verité scenes of Carlton’s isolated, impoverished, yet passionately dedicated existence, Finding Carlton uncovers an untold story of cultural cross-pollination born of the pre-war African-American diaspora, the American Army presence in Calcutta during the Second World War, and of the US State Department’s sponsored jazz tours in India. The film also illuminates the influence of American jazz on Bollywood and provides one of the earliest examples of cultural globalization.
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As American jazz enters the South Asian vernacular, a unique fusion is born that synthesizes the western form with a deeply-rooted, ancient Indian musical heritage. But the political and cultural environment is changing with the birth of a new democracy. The few remaining jazz musicians including Carlton are forced to make difficult choices, revealing the universal story of the jazz musician. Where other jazz artists of his generation, including Louiz Banks, chose to flee post Independence, Communist-run Calcutta for prosperity in Bollywood, Carlton remained, devoting himself to his craft and to sustaining an ever-shrinking jazz community in a city hostile to all reminders of India’s colonial past.

As this unique history emerges, jazz historian Dan Morgenstern provides essential insight and observations, together with ethnomusicologist Dr. Brad Shope and author, journalist and collector of Bombay jazz archives Naresh Fernandes.

They say that in every musician there is a story… and in the story of one musician, there are the stories of many.

Finding Carlton ­ Uncovering the Story of Jazz in India is that story–an original new documentary that reveals a heritage and a world.


This Film was made possible by the generous support of music lovers from all over the world

Ajay & Knita Row
Alex Sadowsky
Anisha Sarin
Anita D’Costa
& Sachin Shah
Anne Kubisch
& Mark Montgomery
Anurag Shanker
Ashwin Panemangelore
Beth Schrum
Carl Puma
Charles Capwell
Chetana Prabhu
Christine Correa
David & Mimi
Deepak Alse
Deepak Mehta
Edward Hussey
Farhad Kapadia
Floyd Webb
Frank Carlberg
Frank Cherry
Geoffrey C. Ward
Hiten Manseta
Ian Pereira
Jai K. Jacob
James DeCorla-Souza
Jason R. Stefanelli
Jehangir B. Dalal
John Bowman
Joseph Corcoran
Van Baarsel
Jwahar Bammi
Kim Pereira
Lester D’Costa
Linda & Louis Greco
Lisa Lobo
Marc Correa
Matt Bockelman
Mathew Verghis
Matthew Vetto
Maya Kurien
Meherji Madan
Michele D’Souza
Michelle Desa
Mira Abraham
Monal Jhaveri
Nandita Mital
Nakul Mehta
Natasha Pathare
Navtej Bubber
Neil Rodrigues
Nick Mahedy
Pankaj & Radhika
Phil Verghis
Pria Shah
Rachel & Alain Kodsi
Ratan & Banoo
Ravi Ahmad
Raymond Wapner
Renuka Patel
Richard Rhodes
Robert Buce
Satish Tyagi
Scott Goldman
Shaill Jhaveri
Shanthi Kurien
Stanley Pinto
Sunita Kikeri
Tom Hendry
Tony Vita
& Merle Joffe
Vicente Costa
Viju Verghis