Phuket Town prepares for Jazz Day

Phuket Town prepares for Jazz Day

PHUKET: When UNESCO initiated International Jazz Day in 2011, Tidaporn “Kay” Mangkolkaew and pianist Jeffrey Sevilla, with sponsorship from Phuket Municipality, organised the only event honouring it in Southeast Asia, thereby putting the island squarely on the international jazz map.


It was a natural fit.

Kay and Jeff run well-known jazz spot Music Matter in picturesque Phuket Town, for 14 years the centre for the island’s jazz aficionados and players. It’s the one place you know you can talk jazz.

This year’s event expands greatly on previous editions: a 140 sq. ft. stage sponsored by the city will dominate tiny Chana Jaroen Rd, with 12 bands and numerous independent artists scheduled to perform, including five blues groups.

“Blues is a basic part of jazz chemistry,” Jeff notes. “You can’t play [jazz] if you don’t know blues, because every jazz song has a blues scale.”

Although many of those performing are associated with Music Matter Collective, a loose international association of artists acquainted through performance at Music Matter, many will also be playing at this location for the first time.

With greater sponsorship, Jeff and Kay think they might begin attracting the cream of the international jazz scene – artists such as saxophonist Ed Calle, drummer Jae Sinnett and pianist Joey Calderazzo.

“Music Matter,” Jeffrey observes, “is conceived by the musicians, so we like to have many people, many ideas to play with.”

Jazz has quietly re-established its audience, after its eclipse in the ’50s by rock, and later by Electronic Dance Music and hip-hop. But random surveys of streaming sites shows rock frequently down in ratings and jazz generally coming in second or third, suggesting many listeners look less for hook-laden hits and more for a style that strikes home to their inner souls.

So putting International Jazz Day on Phuket’s official calendar is a winning idea, not least because of UNESCO support. With bigger budgets and promotion, the event can draw jazz lovers and players from the four corners of the earth.

This year’s event, a street party sponsored in part by Phuket Municipality and Class Act Media, begins at 7pm on Wednesday, April 30, and will go on till late. Loyal jazz fan, Phuket Deputy Mayor Kawee Tansukhatanon will preside over the opening. Admission is free.

Music Matter and Chana Jaroen Rd. are located just off Phuket Rd, 100 metres south of the clock tower roundabout in Phuket Town.


Class Act Media are proud sponsors of this event.


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