“JAZZ involves a lot of improvisation,” says Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) President Raul Sunico. “That explains its special appeal among young people. It implies freedom, spontaneousness.”
“This is what jazz is all about,” added Sunico. “There is soft jazz which is soothing and hard jazz which is electronic. We want to make sure there is a blending of music here.”
Sunico spoke at a press conference at the CCP to announce the Winds and Jazz International Band Festival to be held July 26-31 at the CCP Main and Little Theaters, Silangan Hall and the adjacent Harbour Square (call 8323704).
The festival will highlight various symphony bands from around the country and abroad. There will be varied styles of the jazz genre, including Asian ethnic fusion, performed by Philippine and international jazz soloist and groups. And there will be evening concerts, pocket concerts, sunset concerts, and lobby preshows, trade shows, band clinics and instrument repair sessions.
Performers come from Antipolo City; Taytay, Rizal; Las Piñas City; Calamba City, Laguna; Muntinlupa City; Malabon City; Leyte; and Pasay City. School bands are from De la Salle Santiago Zobel School, Adamson University, University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas (UST).
The military will be represented by bands from the Philippine Army, Philippine Coast Guard and Presidential Security Group.
Participating foreign artists are from the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Norway and Singapore.
The press launch was enlivened by performances—strategically placed—by the Music Gear Woodwind Trio, who played delightful airs from Mozart operas, Adamson University Acoustic Band and Banda Zamora led by Dondon Resurrecion.
“There is an enthusiasm for jazz festivals in the Philippines, and what makes this event different is the presence of symphonic bands,” Sunico said. “There are a few transformations; we are focusing not just on big bands but on individual instruments.”
Festival director is Herminigildo Ranera of the UST Conservatory of Music.
“We have more participants, more activities this year,” he said. “We have 50 bands and 30 groups, plus foreign artists. Jazz has many styles, ragtime, blues. It involves many players.”
He added: “I hope this tradition continues for many years. We are showcasing bands, local talents, educating our people and offering them not just classical music but also jazz and symphonic bands.”