Phuket’s annual Worldwide Jazz pageant used to happen each April exterior Music Issues Jazz Bar in Chana Charoen Rd in Phuket City till COVID struck. Began in 2012 by Filipino Jazz pianist Jeffery Sevilla, we noticed Jazz musicians jetted in from the Philippines, Indonesia and even the far-off UK. Over a thousand Jazz lovers visited the pageant in 2018 earlier than it tragically needed to cease because of the pandemic.
Born in Catarman on Samar Island within the Philippines, Jeffery first arrived right here in 1996 and began off by scraping a dwelling taking part in piano, dwelling in a tiny attic in Chana Charoen Rd till he began Music Issues downstairs in 2000. I’ve completely satisfied reminiscences of singing somewhat and studying to play Jazz drums there. Sadly, Music Issues didn’t survive the pandemic, and its widespread Wednesday night time Jazz jam is not any extra.
Nevertheless, as Albert Einstein as soon as properly stated, “Within the midst of each disaster lies nice alternative,” and Jeffery was to not be defeated. Jeffery moved the Jazz jam post-pandemic to Michelangelo’s Bar in Takuapa Rd close by. Held now on a Tuesday, it’s higher than ever and hosts what have to be the perfect Jazz jam in Southern Thailand, however his desires of relaunching the Jazz pageant have been pissed off till now.
Jeffery initially selected KEP Restaurant close to Chalong Pier, a cool seaside restaurant, for the pageant’s relaunch in a particular transfer up-market. Nevertheless, the venue was modified to the Three Monkeys simply earlier than due to impending rain. Whereas Jeffery in some way miraculously managed to maintain the pageant exterior Music Issues free, post-pandemic funds meant it was essential now to pay for entry. There’s simply not practically a lot cash sloshing round Phuket as earlier than COVID.
Fortunately, nevertheless, Jeffery had quite a lot of native expertise to attract upon and his attraction for acts quickly had 11 native bands involving over 40 musicians volunteering. Early acts on stage included The Naughty Band, younger Tenly Mulder’s Funky Band and Voodoo Daddy, with Steve Gitz defining its raunchy sound with splendidly gritty guitar.
Colin Hill sadly needed to pull out due to band illness, leaving Filipino Levi Aniversario to fill the 7pm slot along with his all-Thai band, Blues and Soul. Maybe the perfect male vocalist singing in English in Phuket, Levi supplied a signature energetic efficiency, backed up with some nice saxophone from Thom Sax.
Subsequent up was Jeffery Sevilla’s personal band, The Siam Band, with a small brass part and the stable bass of Filipino Dennis and wonderfully-fluid drumming of Serge Lamboley from France. Filipino Eric Soriano then performed a brief, hovering solo set with backing drum tracks and a mess of guitar results supplied by his huge pedal board, certainly the most important on the island.
Nevertheless, the band of the night time simply needed to be Klaus Zimmermann’s Jazz-Roxx. I’ve watched their first performances on the Coconut Rawai’s open mic nights, however this one confirmed my early opinion of them as Phuket’s most fun new and upcoming band. Klaus, Germany’s reply to Joe Satriani or Steve Vai, performed guitar, generally melodic, generally snarling, however all the time gorgeous. Not solely that, he was backed up by two different first-rate soloists with Tom Nunan on sax and Ramil Media-Uncooked on keyboard. With rock stable bass and energetic drumming supplied by Ukrainians Andrew Emilianov and Max Malyshev, this band couldn’t fail to make an incendiary first main efficiency.
Individuals by now had been beginning to go away for house, maybe needing to take children to high school or go to work subsequent day. It was left to Ramil Media-Uncooked’s Islander Band and Irish Jazz singer Anita Williams to wind up a memorable night.
I really feel I ought to go away the final phrase to Jeffery who plans to carry a pageant in April subsequent 12 months and perhaps even once more subsequent November: “I’m so excited to have the ability to have the pageant once more, notably because it now consists of Blues. Jazz is a lifestyle for me, part of my life, even part of my persona.”
So effectively finished Jeffery ‒ we’re all wanting ahead to the subsequent one subsequent 12 months!
Andy Tong Dee is a neighborhood expat, musician and stay music fanatic. You’ll find out extra about Phuket’s bands and venues at www.phuketmusicscene.com
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