• Kush Abadey
  • Julian Lage
  • Jorde Roeder
  • Eric Doob

One hundred years of jazz

music January 21, 2017 01:00

By Darin Pantoomkomol
Special to The Nation

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This year's Thailand Jazz International Conference celebrates the first-ever recording

THE 2017 edition of the Thailand International Jazz Conference, which gets underway on Friday at the College of Music, Mahidol University, is all set to be an historical occasion.

That’s because this year marks the centenary of the first ever jazz recording by the Original Dixieland Jass Band (ODJB). The legendary group had its origins in New Orleans, the city that has become known as the birthplace of jazz and has given the world such jazz greats as Louis Armstrong and the Marsalis family as well as new generation jazzmen Donald Harrison and Terence Blanchard.

After a full century of evolution and thanks to the efforts of musicians like Armstrong, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, jazz had made considerable advances in terms of technical difficulties and stylistic developments.

Today, jazz encompasses a wide array of musical styles, including classical, popular, world music, and of course, its own African musical roots.

And so the jazz faculties at the College of Music, Mahidol University, are thrilled to combine the ninth anniversary of their landmark jazz extravaganza with the centennial of the first-ever jazz recording and even more delighted to introduce saxophonist and composer Donald Harrison, himself a son of New Orleans.

Harrison has contributed considerably to the revival of traditional jazz and he is well –known for his fusion of jazz and other musical styles, from popular to Afro New Orleans to third stream classical music.

He will take the stage twice during the upcoming conference, first with his quartet and then as a soloist with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra (TPO). This latter performance is a must for anyone who likes third stream classical-jazz works and will feature his original orchestral music composition entitled “Congo Square”, a classical-jazz piece named after a historic place in New Orleans which has contributed greatly to the development of African American culture and jazz music.


Other artists taking part in this upcoming TIJC further emphasise the stylistic and cultural diversity in jazz.

Shai Maestro, a virtuoso pianist from Israel, is one of the best pianists in the world of modern jazz. His

 music seamlessly combines the form of melody, rhythm and complex harmony in a style that’s become known as Israeli jazz..

For the jazz guitar enthusiast, Julian Lage needs no introduction. A child prodigy, he performed at the Grammys at age 13 and at 17 moved on to work with the world best vibraphonist, Gary Burton. Playing a mixture of traditional jazz, gypsy music and pop/rock, the 28 year-old recently released the full-length album “Arclight”.

Magos Herrera is a dazzling jazz singer-songwriter and one of the most active vocalists on the contemporary Latin American jazz scene. She is best known for her eloquent vocal improvisation and bold style, which embraces elements of contemporary jazz and Latin American melodies.

The Thai line-up is also impressive and includes Nop Ponchamni’s latest music project, he Groovetomatix IX Band, who play a combination of popular music, R&B, and jazz. Rocker Jack Thammarat will also be on stage, with the 2017 conference serving as a showcase for his extraordinary jazz talent.

More than 50 jazz big bands and jazz orchestras from all over Thailand will also show off their talent, ensuring that the days are equally exciting as the nights.

Darin “Joe” Pantoomkomol is artistic director of the Thailand Jazz International Conference, the head of the Jazz Studies Department at Mahidol University’s College of Music, and also plays with Pomelo Town.


- The 2017 TIJC runs from January 27 to 29 at the College of Music, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus.

- The event is priced at Bt3,000 for a 3-day conference pass (all events), Bt500 for 1-day clinic pass (daytime clinic), and Bt800 for |a 1-day performance pass (evening concert).

- The passes are available at MACM Box Office, by calling (02) 849 6565-6 extension 6603, 6604 and 6609 as well as at www.MSTicket.music.mahidol.ac.th

- Find out more at (02) 800 2525-30 extension 3117 or (02) 441 5300, email: tijc.net@gmail.com, or visit www.tijc.net and Facebook.com/tijc.net