Highly anticipated festival hosts jazz greats

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Highly anticipated festival hosts jazz greats


Jeff Watts, left, Candy Dulfer, center, and Stanley Jordan, right, are all performing at the seventh Jarasum International Jazz Festival starting tomorrow. Provided by the organizers

The 2010 Jarasum International Jazz Festival, often cited as the best jazz music festival in Korea, is back for a seventh edition. The festival will take place on Jara Island, Gyeonggi, from Oct. 15 to 17, and will feature 36 professional jazz musicians and 30 amateur groups from all over the world.

This year, the festival was chosen as the “most anticipated Korean festival” for the second year in a row by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Festival events will be held on stages around the island that are only 10 minutes apart on foot, allowing visitors to get their fill of good music and scenic vistas.

The main stage will be peppered by the festival’s headliners.

Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer rose to fame with the release of her album “Saxuality” in 1990, for which she was nominated for a Grammy Award. She has also collaborated with several prominent musicians, including Prince, Dave Stewart, Maceo Parker and her father Hans Dulfer.

Stanley Jordan, whose debut album “Magic Touch” was No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz Chart for 51 weeks in 1985, will show his talents as an artist and music therapist with songs to cure the soul.

Kyle Eastwood, the son of actor and film director Clint Eastwood, will also join the festivities.

The soundtrack for “Letters From Iwo Jima,” to which he contributed, was nominated for Best Original Score by the 2006 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.

The Watts Project will also appear at the festival. The band’s leader, Jeff Watts, spent time with “The Tonight Show” Band and has worked to develop the hard pop of the 50s and 60s.

The festival also includes performances by well-known Korean bands.

The Lee Pan Geun Project, which aims to continue the musical identity of Korean jazz artist Lee Pan-geun, will add to the excitement.

The second part of the festival is called “Party Stage.” Like its title, this section is a selection of funky music from all over the world. The seven participating artists include Kazutoki Umezu, who is known for his saxophone playing.

The third part is titled “Jazz Cube” and highlights performances by emerging artists and acoustic translations of classics.

The stages - JJ Station, JJ Club and JJ Spot - are spread out all over the island and will host performances by underground musicians.

As if this wasn’t enough, the festival has prepared some extra activities to add to the fun. An open-mic event called “Stage 15” gives each act 15 minutes to perform. There will also be an art market with items for sale by artists and a free market with items for sale by nonartists.

Food and drink round out the festival experience. The festival hosts a food market, where Jara Island wine will be available along with makgeolli, Korean traditional unrefined rice wine.

*For more information on the festival, call (031) 581-2813~4 or visit www.jarasumjazz.com.

By Hannah Kim Contributing writer [estyle@joongang.co.kr]
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