5 Reasons to Watch the Euro-Pinoy Jazz Concerts 2015

EPJ Euro Pinoy Jazz Concert


The Euro-Pinoy Jazz Concerts, now on its 2nd year, is set to happen this weekend and it is the ultimate jazz experience for all you jazz lovers, and even if you don’t consider yourself one, this event is definitely still for you. Who knows, you might suddenly become a die-hard jazz fan. You know what they say, once you go jazz, you won’t go… uhm. Ok, maybe there is no saying like that.

But you should definitely check it out! There’s a concert on February 20, Friday, 9:00 PM at Tiendesitas and on February 21, Saturday, 8:00 PM at the historic Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila. It’s an event you seriously should not miss! Allow me to explain why.

1. Awesome performers

The organizers of this event (The Goethe-Institut, embassies of Austria, France, and Switzerland, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and the European Union Delegation) have flown in numerous jazz artists from all over Europe and they’ve enlisted the talents of two of our local legendary jazz artists. Here are the artists set to play this weekend: 

Mar Dizon – Philippines

Mar Dizon is a multi-awarded Filipino jazz drummer and percussionist and he’s been part of bands such as Side A, Artstart, Parliament Syndicate, and the Jazz Volunteers and he’s played for numerous international artists such as Julia Fordham and Alan Brunett. He now plays with jazz bands such as Buhay, Akasha, and Merk and Friends. 

Here’s the best part: He majored in percussion in U.P. and during his studies there, he discovered ethnic music, he learned how to play Philippine indigenous instruments, and now he actually incorporates Philippine ethnic music into his compositions! This means we can actually have jazz music that we can call our own! Watch out for him this weekend since he’s announced he’ll be weaving in musical rhythms and patterns from the Maguindanao and the Kalinga area into their jazz compositions!

Henry Katindig – Philippines

Henry Katindig. THE Henry Katindig. He’s a jazz keyboardist and he’s the son of legendary jazz musician Eddie Katindig. He’s been a legend in the local jazz scene for the longest time and his talent and musicality have brought him to numerous jazz festivals here and abroad. He’s played with so many artists and he’s also released his own solo album called You and Me, which is filled with his original compositions labeled as contemporary new jazz. 

Michael Schiefel – Germany

Michael Schiefel is characterized as a jazz and experimental singer, and when I say experimental, I mean it’s REALLY different. Sometimes he uses lyrics, sometimes he scats, other times he imitates instruments, and then at other times he would use animal sounds. His voice has been described as multi-faceted and he’s been praised by numerous critics over the years. He’s released seven jazz albums, both solo and with his band Jazz Indeed. He’s currently a professor of jazz vocals at the Franz Liszt Conservatory of Music in Weimar.

Nguyên Lê – France

Nguyên Lê is incredible. He’s described as a jazz/jazz fusion guitarist, but he’s so much more than that. Born in Paris from Vietnamese parents, he’s a self-taught musician, starting out with drums at the age of 15 then later on learning guitar and bass. One review by All About Jazz describes him as one of the few musicians who actually embody the word “fusion” in the sense that he doesn’t just stick to that genre of jazz fusion, but he actually incorporates a rock energy into the jazz sphere and he broadens the sense of the genre, even including music from cultures around the world. 

To give you a sense of how broad his musical palette is, his latest work is Celebrating the Dark Side of the Moon, a very personal take on Pink Floyd’s famous album. Just check out his bio on his website (nguyen-le.com), his credentials are no joke.

Raphael Preuschl – Austria

Raphael Preuschl is an outstanding bassist in the Austrian jazz scene. He doesn’t just play bass. He also plays the ukulele and he works with electronic instruments like synthesizers. He plays with bands and musicians like Homegrown, FAT (Fabulous Austrian Trio), Wolfgang Reisimger, Flower (Vogel/Prowaznik/P.), Simone Kopmajer, Salesny/Schabata/P./Joos, JazzWerkstatt Wien, uva. He’s also performed and produced with several bands AT THE SAME TIME. 

He’s got videos on Youtube of him playing jazz on his bass ukulele and it’s pretty trippy.


2. Totally new and original pieces

The way this concert works is not like your usual international concert where you get an established band from abroad, fly them here, then let them play their songs on a stage. What’s actually gonna happen is that these musicians from all over the world come together here, jam for three days, then show us the totally brand-new original compositions they’ve created. What we’re gonna hear in the concerts are works that have never actually been played on a stage before and we’re gonna be their first audience!


3. All about cultural exchange

Dr. Petra Raymond, Institute Director of the Goethe-Institut, said one of the goals of this event is really cultural exchange. Getting musicians from different cultures jamming together and creating something totally different is definitely in line with that goal. It also shows that music truly has no borders. Also, according to Dr. Raymond, jazz is the perfect genre since it’s all about listening and reacting to each other.


4. Awesome venue

There are two concerts. 

February 20, Friday, 9:00 PM at Tiendesitas. Great place to shop, great restaurants, easily accessible since it’s in C5!

February 21, Saturday, 8:00 PM at the historic Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila. THE Historic Fort Santiago, inside THE historic Intramuros. One of the few places with original bricks and walls from the Spanish era and you can really see the architecture and the history all around you and wow just wow. A concert in Fort Santiago is definitely something worth checking out. 


5. It’s free. 

Great music, amazing musicians, all for free and absolutely open to all. Need I say more?


So there are your 5 reasons to watch the Euro-Pinoy Jazz Concerts 2015! Save the dates now, invite your friends, and get ready for two awesome nights of jazz and cultural exchange.

This event was organized by the Goethe-Institut, embassies of Austria, France, and Switzerland, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and the European Union Delegation. It is also supported by the Intramuros Administration, the Luneta Hotel, the Swiss Cultural Fund, Tiendesitas, and Qatar Airways.

For more information, you can check out facebook.com/europinoyjazzconcerts .