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FYI SOUTH Magazine, October 2006.


2006 Taichung Jazz Festival showcases top foreign, local jazz talent

Taiwan music fans regularly pencil an October trip to Taichung into their calendars, as that's when the Taichung Jazz Festival rolls around each year. This year's festival--on the weekends of Oct. 21-22 and 27-29--provides more outstanding live jazz from a spectrum of styles and local and international artists. Highlights include the following (performance times noted):

Incredibly, alto sax player Bud Shank (Oct. 21, 7-10 p.m.) has played a big role in the U.S. jazz scene for 60 years as a player, composer and arranger from the "West Coast" jazz movement. Since the '40s, he has performed and worked with dozens of jazz greats--from Ray Brown and Phil Woods to Jackie McLean--in over 50 albums and countless performances. Now in his 80s, he still welcomed by jazz fans the world over.

The Erik Truffaz Quartet (Oct. 21, 7-10 p.m.) is led by French trumpeter Truffaz. Often compared to Miles Davis, Truffaz has won acclaim for his own brand of new jazz that features modern dance rhythms, from drums and bass to hip hop, in a jazz-pop-rock fusion. This Blue Note Records artist has released a number of albums, including 1998's European hit "The Dawn". A Japanese household name and leading jazz pianist Yosuke Yamashita (Oct. 21, 7-10 p.m.) has released over 40 albums and toured widely the past 30 years. He and his New Quartet will Taichung to his unique brand of contemporary jazz.

Acclaimed, world-class tenor sax player and BMG recording artist Harry Allen (Oct. 29, 7-10 p.m.) has over 20 recordings and has worked with jazz musicans worldwide, including Rosemary Clooney, Ray Brown and Hank Jones. Trio da Paz (Oct. 29, 7-10 p.m.) consists of three top Brazilian jazz musicians--guitarist Romeo Lubambo, jazz drummer Duduka Fonseca and string bassist Nilson Matt. Formed in 1990, they have ganed fame for their live performances and collaborated with artists from Charlie Byrd to Herbie Mann.

Other Festival artists/bands include Taiwan's Japanese-born UNO Jazz Trio, the Dizzy Jazz Big Band, JEG Jazz Band, Montunos Lartin Band, Japanese/Taiwanese acid jazz quintet Hip Swing, Taipei Jazz Ensemble, Mosquito Latin Band, and Taichung's own popular bands 'Round Midnight and Jazzaholics.

Performances start at 3 p.m. on Oct. 21, 22, 28 and 29, and at 6 p.m. Oct. 27 on the two smaller J1 and J2 stages along the JingGuo Boulevard parkway, where dozens of food and drink vendors will also be present. Big-stage performances on Peoples' Square are on Oct. 21 and 29 from 7 to 10 p.m. For more information, go the Festival website at http://www.jazzfestival.com.tw


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