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Diverse genres jazz up festival program

May 16,2014
Following the April 16 Sewol ferry tragedy, many of the country’s music festivals were either canceled or postponed.

The country’s largest event of its kind, the Ansan Valley Rock Festival, had no choice but to cancel this year. The concert takes place in Ansan, the city where hundreds of the maritime disaster’s student victims were from.

Green Plugged also postponed its festival to May 31. It was originally scheduled to kick off beginning this month, forcing many people who had already purchased tickets to either get a refund or reschedule their plans. It now coincides with the Rainbow Island Festival on Nami Island, Chuncheon.

But music fans let down by these changes can still check out the Seoul Jazz Festival, which launches its two-day event tomorrow as scheduled.

Although it’s called a jazz festival, it also invites pop artists and attracts thousands of fans who appreciate various music genres each year.

To celebrate the eve of the festival, which is in its eighth year, Lee Seung-hwan, a veteran singer, Chris Botti, an American trumpeter, and Michel Camilo and Tomatito, a duo composed of an award-winning pianist and a flamenco guitarist, will perform.

The artists will appear at the festival’s Special Opening Night today at the 88 Jandi Madang and Gymnastics Arena, Olympic Park, southeastern Seoul. Lee, who recently released his 11th album “Fall to Fly,” will perform new songs from his latest work.

Although the names chosen for the opening concert are big, they are only a taste of what’s to come during the full two-day festival.

Representing jazz, legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette will appear on the second day, featuring Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison. Jazz saxophonists Joshua Redman and Gerald Albright will each hold 80-minute concerts. And Nils Petter Molvaer will show off “future jazz,” which mixes jazz with electronic music, while pianist Eddie Palmieri will keep Korean fans entertained with Latin jazz.

Attendees of last year’s Seoul Jazz Festival will remember Damien Rice’s passionate performance. The Irish singer-songwriter will return this year, holding a concert at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Other names include Scottish songwriter Paolo Nutini, R&B singer Eric Benet and English jazz-pop artist Jamie Cullum. Garage-pop star Craig David will present a DJ set on the first day of the festival.

The local artist lineup is also making music lovers anticipate the festival.

Jeong Yeop from Browneyed Soul will collaborate with gypsy guitarist Park Ju-won, while hip-hop star Beenzino will show off his rapping skills. Pianist Yoon Han, whose solo concerts always sell out, will also appear tomorrow at 1 p.m.

Other local names include Eric Nam, Youngjoo Song Quartet, Jang Kiha and the Faces, Jambinai, Sunwoo Jung-ah, Urban Zakapa and many more.

The artist performances will cover three stages - the May Forest in 88 Jandi Madang, Sparkling Dome in the Gymnastics Arena and Spring Garden, located at the Lakeside Stage.

Tickets for the special opening night are 99,000 won ($96). A two-day ticket for the jazz festival costs 195,000 won, and a one-day ticket costs 121,000 won. Performances start at 1 p.m. on both days and end at around 11 p.m.

For more information, visit www.seouljazz.co.kr.

BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [sharon@joongang.co.kr]






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