Article and photos courtesy of Taichung City Government Information Bureau
Translated by Anna Yang
Since its inaugural event in 2003, the Taichung Jazz Festival has stood apart in Taiwan as a rare, large-scale showcase for jazz music, not to mention a Taichung cultural highlight. With audience numbers increasing by the year, this independent musical event–held each year in October–has grown to join the Tokyo Jazz Festival, Bangkok Jazz Festival, and Seoul Jazz Festival as Asia’s four major jazz festivals.
Musical magic showcases Taichung’s charming culture and ambiance
“Jazz You Up” will be the main theme for this 17th Taichung Jazz Festival, as jazz once again fills the autumn air, enchanting audiences with its ability to exceed limits and boundaries while musicians accent the uniquely relaxed, free and sensual attributes of this musical genre.
This year musical groups and artists from 15 countries around the world will give a total of 53 performances. The event will also feature 100 street artists, international food vendors, creative and cultural handicrafts vendors, and a series of classes and activities focused on youth jazz ensemble training, jazz seminars, and musical competitions, all serving to boost Taichung’s culture, education and economic prosperity. This event also highlights the city’s positive cultural and creative side and is the public’s favorite annual musical feast.
15 top musicians to perform after ‘Double Ten’ Day
This year’s Taichung Jazz Festival will allow you to enjoy top jazz musicians from every corner of the world, including the United States, Poland, Spain, France, Japan and Taiwan. Among 2019’s special guest artists is globally-renowned saxophonist Antonio Hart, who earned a 1997 Grammy nomination for “Best Jazz Instrumental Solo” as well as a 2010 Grammy nomination for “Best Jazz Instrumental Album”. Hart is bringing his band to Taichung to perform a “hard bop” style that jazz fans will love.
The festival line-up includes the jazz trumpeter Derrick Gardner, whose extraordinary creative, natural talent launched a top-flight career that has taken him around the world, performing internationally with the Count Basie Orchestra. In 2009, he received a “Best Jazz Album” award at the 9th Annual Independent Music Awards. Among other guests this year is Rangsit Jazz Orchestra, one of Thailand’s premier student jazz orchestras, whose innovative musical style has become quite popular in the jazz world. As this year marks the centennial celebration of jazz legend Art Blakey’s (1919-1990) birthday, another special feature of this year’s festival will be top Taiwanese drummer Rich Huang joining a number of other top local musicians in performing a series of Art Blakey pieces. As usual, the 2019 Taichung Jazz Festival’s main stage will be on Civic Square, with two gigantic screens set up to display close-ups of live performances. This festival is not limited to the downtown area, either, with jazz performances and activities also taking place in Taichung’s mountain, coastal and “tun” districts, allowing plenty of opportunities for everyone to swing freely to the sounds and rhythms of jazz.