A small island rises from a river of jazz
Against all odds, the Jarasum International Jazz Festival is now in its fourth year and will take place this year from Wednesday until Saturday. Over the years, with world-class jazz musicians like Victor Wooten Band and Stefano Bollani Trio, it has became one of the biggest and best Korean jazz festivals.
“We’ve made great efforts to make it even better this year,” said In Jae-jin, the festival’s artistic director. “We have diversified music genres to meet the ever-growing tastes of the Korean jazz audience. The festival will include R&B, soul, hip-hop, and even electronica to balance the festival out and provide some mass appeal.”
The festival has a Jazz Stage, Party Stage and Music Island. “For the Jazz Stage, the highlight of the festival, we have a lineup of world-class musicians.”
On Friday, the Giovanni Mirabassi Trio will be the first to perform on the Jazz Stage, followed by Kurt Elling and the Charles Lloyd Trio. Giovanni Mirabassi, a jazz pianist born in Italy, released a solo album “Avantil” in 2001 and it became a big hit. He is popular in Korea and Japan as well as in Europe. The Charles Lloyd Trio is famous for its albums “Forest Flower” and “The Flowering” from the 1960s.
On Saturday , the Jazz Stage will feature Ryota Komatsu & The Tanguists and Stanley Clark & George Duke. Ryota Komatsu has played the bandoneon, an accordion-like instrument, since he was 14. With his bandoneon sounds, he is now Asian leading exponent of tango.
On Sunday, Stacey Kent and the Mike Stern Special Project will take the stage with American-born vocalist Stacey Kent, who is popular in England.
The Midnight Party Stage will start at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and will offer various genres of music.
Many big name K-pop stars will make special appearances, including Drunken Tiger and T-Yoon Mi Rae on Friday and MC Sniper and Hyun Jin Young on Saturday. Most of them are hip-hop musicians.
The 4th Jarasum International Jazz Festival 2007 will be held from Sept. 12 to 16. The festival takes place on Jarasum, or Jara Island, in Gapyeong-eup, Gapyeon County, Gyeonggi. From Seoul, take national highway No. 46 and transfer to No. 6 at Gapyeong, then No. 45 at Yangsuri. Transfer to the No. 46 again at Saeteosamgeori. Jazz Stage starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 4 p.m. on Sunday. Music Island opens at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are 20,000 won ($22) per day. For more information, call (031) 581-2813 or www.jarasumjazz.com/eng.
By Choi Jeong-hui JoongAng Ilbo/ Lee Hyo-jeong Contributing Writer