2nd Jazz Festival offers more diversity

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2nd Jazz Festival offers more diversity

This week the city of Seoul will get its groove on with sultry jazz.
For the second time the “Seoul Jazz Festival” will offer treats for music lovers in Korea. This year, a more exciting lineup and diverse repertoire will be featured.
“Last year the festival mainly targeted jazz mania. But this year we will focus on diversifying the program so the general public can join in, too,” said Choo Na-yeong, one of the organizers. “We understand that jazz can sound a little mystical to laymen. So we gave each day a familiar theme.”
The opening day, May 21, is dubbed “Korean Jazz-Pop Crossover Night.” Pop artists Lee Hyun-woo and Lena Park will perform their hit songs arranged in jazz style, together with Korean jazz pianist Kim Kwang-min. They will also perform a well known standard jazz repertoire.
On the second day, world-renowned American jazz trumpeter Chris Botti will bring romance to the air. His music mixes elements of jazz, pop and classical music.
Botti has just released his latest album, ”Italia,” which offers music that evokes Italian romance. The title track was written by songwriter and producer David Foster and sung by tenor Andrea Bocelli.
“My goal was to put together an album inspired by Italy in all of its beauty and romance,” Botti said.
Day Three will jazz up the festival a notch with The Crusaders.
The concert will be the first in Korea for the legendary fusion jazz group.
In the early 1970s, the band introduced an amalgamated jazz, pop and soul sound to the American music scene.
The group disbanded in 1983 with a comprehensive discography behind them.
But in 2003, the original members revived the band.
The Korean group Prelude, who released their newest album last month, will perform the same day.
The festival will close with performances by British acid jazz group Incognito and French bossa nova group Nouvelle Vague.
Incognito was formed 30 years ago and has been at the forefront of the acid jazz movement. They helped with the fusion of jazz, funk and soul music and have worked with more than 1,500 musicians.
“Though you will hear favorites like ‘Still a Friend of Mine,’ ‘Don’t you Worry ‘bout a Thing’ and more, the show will also contain surprises,” said Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick, a member of Incognito.
“Being on stage means you can give something in return. It is in your power to make people forget their hardships and put a smile on their face.”

By Kim Hyung-eun Staff Reporter, Jung Hyun-mok JoongAng Ilbo [hkim@joongang.co.kr]
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