Here's what some of our more seasoned city dwellers will tell you about Sunday Jazz: it's a Colombo cliche.
A couple of years ago the once gentle gathering of music lovers turned into something of a socialite scene, overrun by adolescents ducking for cigarettes behind plastic chairs and the chatter of patrons bubbling over the smooth, sashaying sounds of the sax.
While it's true that Sunday Jazz has certainly become more social, this isn't necessarily a great calamity. In spite of various murmured laments, Jazz remains a rather popular event. You'll be certain to run into friends, non friends, aunties and uncles. The booze is affordable (Rs. 450 for a large Lion and G&T) and the music isn't bad (although not always jazz - I think they put on a CD when the band takes a break). What really seems to have flung this humble little gathering into such popularity, however, seems to be the magic of the bar/lawn/background music combo - and drinks on a Sunday is always a good way to stave off glum contemplations of the approaching mistress Monday.
In addition to the CR's generous store of beverage, you also get the food stalls serving general BBQ/devilled delights. Our most recent experience, however, wasn't so delightful; we had the misfortune of consuming some rather questionable devilled pork - the animal lying in limp sauce-smothered chunks on our paper plates was, well, we're not quite sure what it was. Perhaps go for the safer bet of sausages and fries.
Entrance is Rs. 500, the event takes place on the first Sunday of every month and you can stay as long as you like (well, between 2.30 and 9ish). If you enjoy your jazz and prefer a smaller crowd, however, Barefoot's Sunday sessions may offer a happier alternative.
Dodgy food aside, Jazz isn't a bad place to spend a Sunday evening. It's essentially a big family event: the adults gather in clusters on the lawn while children bounce on a large inflatable castle and the teenagers, who attend by the battalion, flick cigarette butts along the fringes. There's something for everyone.
If you're not a fan of the crowds, go earlier, but if you're there to socialise 5.30 PM to 8ish are the peak hours.