Hitting the right notes

music January 16, 2016 01:00

By Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul

4,101 Viewed

The Thailand International Jazz Conference 2016 returns to the College of Music, Mahidol University for its eighth edition

NOW IN its eighth year, the Thailand International Jazz Conference 2016 being hosted by the College of Music, Mahidol University at the end of this month, promises to be even bigger, better and louder, with more than 50 international and national big bands performing on four stages, among them the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra.
“I always compare the university to a mountain – a massive centre for knowledge, philosophers and experts. If, as an educational institution focusing on music, we didn’t organise this annual activity, we would be no different from other schools that instruct students using textbooks only,” muses Dr Sugree Charoensook, the College of Music’s dean, during the recent press conference in downtown Bangkok.
“Most of the instructors at the College of Music are not graduates of a music institute but professional musicians who are crazy about music. 
“Previously most of us only saw the world’s most famous jazz artists on the covers of records and CDs. Now, through the TIJC, we can hear and see them in person. We would like people to interact with their favourite artists. No matter how many people come to our TIJC, we think the event is absolutely worthwhile if they are happy. I’m confident in the abilities of Darin ‘Ajarn Joe’ Pantoomkomol and Krit ‘Ajarn William’ Buranawitayawu to select the artists. These crazy guys are nothing if not creative.”
Running from January 29 to 31, TIJC 2016 retains its three-part format of Jazz Music Performance, Jazz Education Activities and Jazz Solo Competition. Among the leading artists taking the stage for the performance segment are the Jonathan Kreisberg Quartet featuring Kreisberg, Matt Penman, Dave Kikoski, and Mark Ferber; the Peter Martin Trio featuring Martin, Robert Hurst, and Greg Hutchinson; the Timo Vollbrecht Quartet from Germany; the Kyungsik Choi Quartet as well as Cherryl Hayes, Jens Lindemann and Jacob Dinesen who will perform with Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra. Another guest is Thailand’s much-loved flautist Tanis Sriklindee.
Thai artists include singer Ben Chalathit and big bands from several education institutions around the country. They’ll perform on four stages: Suan Prueksa Duriyang (Musica Arboretum), Mahidol Sithakarn (Prince Mahidol Hall), the Music Auditorium at the College of Music, and Larn Wongree (Music Venue and Community College).
 “Kreisberg is one of the most exciting jazz guitarists and also a well-known educator. He will also take part in our TIJC camp. Matt Penman is a bassist from New Zealand playing with the SF Jazz Collective. Dave Kikoski is a great jazz pianist and the idol of many Thai pianists including myself. Mark Ferber is Kreisberg’s long-time drummer,” Ajarn Joe adds.
“I’m also crazy about Peter Martin, who is among my Top Five jazz idols. Robert Hurst, who played with Wynton Marsalis 30 years ago is the artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Centre and Greg Hutchinson, who first came here with Aaron Goldberg Trio, is an educator at many schools including the New School of Music in New York. Kyungsik Choi is one of the greatest saxophonists in South Korea.”
Prior to the press conference, jazz vocalist Cherryl Hayes performed with Pomelo Town, a band featuring the professors from three universities. The American singer, together with Canadian trumpeter Jens Lindemann and Danish saxophonist Jakob Dinesen, will perform with Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra at Prince Mahidol Hall on January 30.
 “Prince Mahidol Hall is a stunning auditorium with 2016 business-class seats and a perfect acoustic sound system,” says Sugree.
In addition to music activities, the TIJC also features Jazz Aid, a project that sees celebrities and famous artists designing T-shirts to sell to support young peoples’ participation in a seven-day jazz camp. Taking part this year are 25 Hours, Singto Numchok, and actor Gundon “Fair” Akhazzan.
 “The purpose of TIJC isn’t only to build learning and give happiness but also to inspire young people to become interested in jazz,” says Krit. 
“Fair’s design is a bear coming out of a saxophone. Singto Numchok, who performed at TIJC last year, designs a lot of music instruments with a hat as his trademark. For 25 Hours, their design is inspired by free- form music. Each T-shirt is Bt350 and they can be bought both through the TIJC Jazz Aid Facebook page and at the event.”
- Tickets cost Bt3,000 for a |three-day conference pass covering all events, Bt500 for one-day clinic pass and Bt800 for one-day performance pass. They’re available at Thai Ticket Major counters. 
- Visit www.ThaiTicketMajor.com, www.TIJC.net or call the College of Music at (02) 800 2525 extensions 153-154.