Fri, Aug 10, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Live Wire: Time to get jazzed up

The National Concert Hall’s annual summer jazz party is several weeks away, but now’s the time to get tickets for this ever-popular concert series

By David Chen  /  Staff reporter

American saxophonist Joe Lovano performs in Taipei on Aug. 26.

Photo courtesy of the artists

If you’re a jazz fan, now’s the time to start thinking about getting tickets for The National Concert Hall’s annual summer jazz series, which starts on Aug. 26.

Now in its tenth year, the concert hall’s annual “Summer Jazz Party,” always sells out quickly because of its top-name performers. This year’s lineup includes Grammy Award-winning singer Patti Austin and veteran saxophonist Joe Lovano.

Lovano, who kicks off the series on Aug. 26, is a veteran American tenor saxophonist known for his deep knowledge of jazz tradition and history. He trained formally at Berklee College of Music in the 1970s and was signed to Blue Note records in 1991, during a stint with guitarist John Scofield’s quartet. Lovano first appeared in Taiwan in 2004 when the National Concert Hall’s jazz series was just getting started. This time around, the audience can expect to hear a forceful rhythm section, as his quartet, Us Five, is armed with two drummers.

This next show, on Sept. 1, features the National Concert Hall’s specially commissioned “NTCH Summer Jazz Project,” a big band ensemble composed of local musicians and high-profile American guests, including hard bop drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath, trumpeter and trombonist Michael Mossman and saxophonist Antonio Hart.

On Sept 5, the concert hall hosts the Mingus Big Band, an ongoing collective of former backing musicians for the late jazz bassist Charlie Mingus, one of the most important composers in the genre. The Mingus Big Band is one of three ensembles devoted to continuing his legacy by performing his repertoire.

The National Concert Hall’s best-selling show is always the one that features a singer, and this year is no different. There are very few seats left for Patti Austin’s concert on Sept. 8. The 61-year-old vocalist, who has made several pop chart hits during a long-running career that spans jazz and R ‘N’ B, earned a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal for her 2007 album Avant Gershwin.

Tickets are NT$500 to NT$2,500 and are available at NTCH ticketing and online at For more information, visit

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