The Taipei International Jazz Festival has come and gone, but the 2007 National Theater and Concert Hall (NTCH) Summer Jazz Party should keep jazz aficionados shaking their bones into September.
In its fifth year, the party features four international acts playing the National Concert Hall and three local acts heating up the Experimental Theater.
Aldo Romano began his jazz career as a guitarist but after hearing Arthur Taylor play drums at a club in Paris' Latin Quarter, "I said to myself, I have to play drums, I can't do anything but play drums." For his Taipei debut performance tomorrow night, he has lined up pianist Baptiste Trotignon and bassist Remi Vignolo, collectively known as the Aldo Romano Trio.
Grammy award winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater hits the stage next Wednesday for a one-off performance. Known for crossing musical genres, Bridgewater's voice creates the kind of deep tension that is reminiscent of Billie Holiday. Her portrayal of the Jazz legend earned her the Sir Laurence Olivier Best Actress nomination for the West End production of Lady Day.
Topping off the roster of international acts Roy Hargrove will perform Sept.1. Regarded by critics as a trumpeter comparable to Wynton Marsalis, Hargrove's clean soulful styling, punctuated with dazzling solo flourishes are the result of his unique interpretation of the many forms of music encountered throughout his life. This is Hargrove's first trip to Taiwan and a 10-member band that features vocals by RH Factor backs him.
The Experimental Theater plays host to a who's who list of local jazz acts. The Groovin' Jazz Orchestra hits the stage tonight with their renditions of 1930s big band styles and modern interpretations.
What: 2007 NTCH Summer Jazz Party
Where: International Acts: National Concert Hall (國家音樂廳); local acts: Experimental Theater (實驗劇場), 21-1 Zhongshan S Rd, Taipei (台北市中山南路21-1號)
When: Today through Sept. 1
Tickets: International acts are NT$500 to NT$2,500; local acts are NT$300. Tickets are available through NTCH ticketing or online at www.artsticket.com
Sunday afternoon will see the husband and wife team of violinist Hsieh Chi-pin (謝啟彬) and pianist Chang Kai-ya (張凱雅) play their post-bop flavor of jazz that is influenced by European and Modern styles. Rumor has it they will also play a few numbers from their recently released album Mr. BeBu (Mr. 比布).
Rounding out the local acts, the Rich Huang Group (黃瑞豐爵士五重奏) will play next Friday evening. Lead drummer Rich Huang has teamed up with saxophonist Dong Shun-wen (董舜文), pianist Lu Sheng-fei (呂聖斐), guitarist Eric Chuang (莊智淵) and bassist Jeff Chen (陳任佑). They will trace various jazz styles back to bebop.