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'Jazz The Way You Are': The Taichung Jazz Festival marks its 10th year

'Jazz The Way You Are': The Taichung Jazz Festival marks its 10th year

'Jazz The Way You Are': The Taichung Jazz Festival marks its 10th year


'Jazz The Way You Are': The Taichung Jazz Festival marks its 10th year

Words by Douglas Habecker
Translated by Angel Pu

It is hard to think of a single event that better represents Taichung city's impressive cultural development and achievements over the past decade than the Taichung Jazz Festival does. Introduced in the early days of Mayor Jason Hu's fledgling administration, this unprecedented city festival started on a relatively modest scale and rapidly expanded into a world-class international celebration of jazz music and its creative spectrum of musical flavors. Today, it is not only Taiwan's largest annual jazz festival, but has found its way into the ranks of Asia's leading jazz events, attracting top artists from across the world and hundreds of thousands of visitors.

This year, the Oct. 20-28 2012 Taichung Jazz Festival is pulling out all the stops to mark its 10th anniversary with a broad array of international and local musical talent being showcased across nine non-stop days of performances, a re-expanded venue with three stages, and a variety of returning and all-new affiliated events. The festival's official annual hosting organization, the Taichung city government's Cultural Affairs Bureau, and other organizers have made the theme "Jazz The Way You Are" this landmark year's official theme/slogan and invited dozens of jazz groups and musicians from 10 different nations.

These include greats from America--the birthplace of this musical genre--like members of "New Orleans' first family of jazz", the Marsalis family (featured in Sept. Compass Magazine), performing for the closing-night concert. There is also famed New York saxophonist Greg Osby (voted 2009 "Jazz Artist of the Year" by Playboy magazine), American septet The Cookers, whose members are all jazz greats in their own right, and Latin jazz specialists The Rodriguez Brothers, nominated for Emmy, Golden Globe and Grammy Awards.

However, these Americans are just the tip of the musical iceberg. One of the biggest attributes of the Taichung Jazz Festival in recent year has been its successful efforts to showcase some of the most outstanding jazz musicians in Asia, Europe and elsewhere, not to mention a very eclectic variety of jazz styles, ranging from some of the earliest, most traditional sounds of jazz to more experimental varieties, Latin, rock, blues and other flavored styles of jazz, and more modern fusion and electronically-enhanced derivatives.

This year, famed Korean jazz pianist Jangeun Bae will perform with Osby for the festival's opening-night concert (see separate feature article). Also performing on stage during the week will be fellow Korean jazz great Francesa Han, accomplished Japanese jazz ensemble Eiji Nonaka Trio, and French pianist Remi Pannosian with his trio, promising to impress audience with romantic musical renderings. Foreign visitors won't be the only ones wowing audiences, either, as there is no better venue for experiencing Taiwan's impressive home-grown jazz talent, from big band style to more contemporary variations.

As always, the central venue for the festival is the grassy expanse known as Civic Square on GongYi Road in West District. Long-time fans of the Taichung Jazz Festival will also be very happy to hear that the event has also returned to the neighboring Calligraphy Greenway, which was closed for a complete makeover during last year's festival.
Besides the daily evening and weekend afternoon live performances, there are plenty of other related attractions and events. When festival visitors aren't lying on the grass of Civic Square or sitting in front of one of the satellite stages, their second most-favorite activity each year is undoubtedly browsing through the festival's many food/drink vendor stands, which attract massive crowds on their own and offer all manner of local and international cuisine. Jazz fans and aspiring musicians will also want to take advantage of the Jazz Master Classes, which provide opportunities to experience foreign guest artists up-close, and master forums held at Hotel ONE Oct. 21 and 27 with Greg Osby, Remi Panossian Trio with Frederika and others. The smaller stages will also host evening jazz-related movies that were nominated for or won Academy Awards. One added, all-new event this year is the opening-day "Jazz Parade" at 2 p.m. Starting from Civic Square and covering the surrounding area, this event invite the public to turn up with a "jazzy" style and/or commemorative Taichung Jazz Festival T-shirts from past years.

For a detailed schedule, updates, artist profiles and other Chinese/English information, go to the festival's official website http://www.taichungjazzfestival.com.tw, Facebook fan page http://www.facebook.com/taichungJAZZfestival, or call (02) 2711-2320, ext. 107 (Ms. Tsao) or ext. 116 (Ms. Chen).

'Jazz The Way You Are': The Taichung Jazz Festival marks its 10th year 'Jazz The Way You Are': The Taichung Jazz Festival marks its 10th year

'Jazz The Way You Are': The Taichung Jazz Festival marks its 10th year 'Jazz The Way You Are': The Taichung Jazz Festival marks its 10th year

Schedule for Festival Main Stage on Civic Square
Time 4-5 pm 6-7 pm 7-8 pm 8:30-10 pm
10/20 (Sat) [Luxembourg] Saxitude [Switzerland] The Glue Saxophone Competition winners [USA] JB Trio & Greg Osby
10/21 (Sun) [Taiwan] Killer 3000 [Hong Kong] Paulo Jazz Band [Japan] Eiji Nonaka Jazz Trio [USA] The Cookers
      7:30-9 pm  
10/22 (Mon)     [Philippines] Hard Hat Area  
10/23 (Tue)     [Italy] Pietro Valente Quartet  
      7:30-8:30 pm 9-10 pm
10/24 (Wed)     [Korea] Francesca Han Trio [Japan] Black Bottom Brass Band
      7:30-9 pm  
10/25 (Thu)    

[Hong Kong] Mo-Men-T

      7-8 pm 8:30-10 pm
10/26 (Fri)     [Taiwan] Rich Huang Pop Jazz Music Group & Lin Pao [France] Remi Panossian Trio & Frederika
10/27 (Sat) [Malaysia] Poova Plachciak Quintet   [Taiwan] Sizhukong [USA] The Rodriguez Brothers
10/28 (Sun) [China] Nathaniel Gao Quartet   [Taiwan] Timeless Fusion Party [USA] Ellis Marsalis Trio & Jason Marsalis
J1 Stage location: The Sundial Stage at CMP Block Museum of Arts
Time Theme 3-4 pm 5-6 pm 7-8 pm
10/20 (Sat) Living legends
New England Spirit Ciao, Joanna  
10/21 (Sun) Big bands Wilson Jazz Band Taichung Doctors Music Society  
10/22 (Mon) Piano
  New jazz music talents: I-mature
Major Huang Trio
10/23 (Tue) Singers   New jazz music talents: Dark Eyes Tammy Tang Jazz Trio
10/24 (Wed) Saxophone   New jazz music talents: Lamborghini Funk Jazz Band Minyen Hsieh Quartet
10/25 (Thu) Trumpet  

New jazz music group

Wizard Jazz Band
10/26 (Fri) Bands   New jazz music group Micro-Cosmos Quartet
10/27 (Sat) Japanese style   Afternoon Tree Metamorphosis Jazztet
10/28 (Sun) International   Taipei American School Jazz Band
J2 Stage location: Middle Section of Calligraphy Boulevard
Time Theme 2-3 pm 4-5 pm 6-7 pm 8-9 pm
10/20 (Sat) Living legends
Eric Chuang Jazz Guitar Trio

Muddy Basin Ramblers

CEO Jazz Big Band  
10/21 (Sun) Students Teen Stars Jazz Band Shin Min High School Jazz Band FJU Big Band NTU Jazz Big Band
          8 pm
10/22 (Mon) Piano
    Mark Kuo's Neo-Retro Piano Trio Jazz movies: Thelonious Monk Straight No Chaser
10/23 (Tue) Singers     Jazzy Bounce Jazz movies: Herbie Hancock: Possibilities
10/24 (Wed) Saxophone     Chia-Chia Wu's Saxophone Fantasy
Jazz movies: Blues Brothers 2000
10/25 (Thu) Trumpet     Olivier Baron Trio Jazz movies: Manhattan
          8-9 pm
10/26 (Fri) Bands     Vincent Hsu & Soy La Ley Cuban Jazz Band
Alec Haavik Taiwan
Alliance Trio
10/27 (Sat) Japanese style Fools on the Hill 3 Tadpoles E Zzy Umikaji
10/28 (Sun) International Nick Javier Jazz Trio Ka Dao Yin NTNU Jazz Band

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