Seoul hosts modern jazz luminariesIt’s been 20 years since the JVC Jazz Festival first took wing in major cities in France, Britain, Germany and the United States. In the United States, the festival, which has hosted such artists as Dizzy Gillespie, David Sanborn and Miles Davis, begins its tour every May in Miami, stopping in several cities before ending in Rhode Island for the Newport Jazz Festival, which JVC sponsors.
Since 1984, the festival has been attended by about 36 million people and has included nearly 43,000 jazz musicians. In Asia, Korea was first to host the festival last year, which was a success.
JVC Festival in Seoul, at the Sejong Center again this year on Thursday and Friday, hosts some of the near-legends of modern jazz.
Dianne Reeves, one of the two female jazz vocal icons for the Blue Note label along with Cassandra Wilson, will perform on Thursday songs ranging from standard jazz to R&B to pop. Other performers include Al di Meola, an award-winning electric guitarist; “Rite of Strings,” a fusion trio of guitar, base and violin; Stanley Clarke, a former bassist for “Return to Forever,” and Jean-Luc Ponty, a French violinist covering rock, jazz and fusion.
Kim Kwang-min, a Korean jazz pianist, is presenting a taste of local jazz, a mix of jazz and rock. Kim’s music has played a vital role in spreading the idea of jazz in Korea.
The final night will open with Marcus Miller, considered one of the finest jazz and R &B bass players. Take 6, a male a cappella group, and Four of a Kind, a Japanese jazz fusion group, will also appear.
JVC Jazz Festival Seoul takes place at the Sejong Center for Performing Arts on Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information call (02) 541-6234.
by Park Soo-mee