JIREH: Jireh Calo Debut EP Launch
Jireh Calo is a 19-year old singer/keyboardist, bandleader, arranger, and composer. Mostly self-taught, she started singing on stage at the age of 2 and playing the piano at 6. She found her passion for music at 14 when she first listened to a rendition of “Tenderly” by jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. Something about jazz music drew her in and she found herself constantly wanting to discover and absorb as much as she could from other artists while crafting her own voice as a musician.
At 17, she joined her sister Nicole’s band Mann Atti as keyboardist/vocalist. As a band, they participated in the grand finals of the 2012 Boy Katindig Jazz Competition, Jireh being the youngest participant in the competition. There she was first introduced to the jazz artists and bands of Manila, becoming more involved in the music scene as a jazz artist. Eventually, she became part of young bands such as Extrapolation and Payin’ Dues and explored being a session vocalist and keyboardist before finally forming her own band just earlier this 2014.
As a graduate scholar of the British School Manila, she was admitted to the Berklee College of Music, double majoring in Contemporary Writing & Production and Performance for Spring 2014. She has, however, deferred her admittance to January 2015. When asked why she deferred, she answers, “I need more time to raise the funds for studying in a school like Berklee, but at same time, I think I was meant to stay a little longer. A lot of opportunities have opened up for me since the start of the year and I have more time to do what I must do and want to do.” She continues, “I wanted to use this year to grow more as a musician and immerse myself in the local music scene and that’s what I’m doing now.”
Currently, Jireh is active as the singer, keyboardist, arranger and bandleader of the Jireh Calo Project, which has become the perfect vehicle for her skills as a performer. With her band — consisting of guitarist Carlos Jesena, bassist Glenn Bondoc, and drummer Jayman Alviar — she’s been able to explore and grow more in her Jazz music, often fusing it together with other genres such as Soul, Hip-Hop, R&B and even Classical and World. In her few months in the music scene, she has received critical acclaim from audiences and critics alike. Among them are Gideon Isidro of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, who described her as “captivating and jazzy”, while Scott R. Garceau of The Philippine Star declares her “a trifecta of talent… the real deal”.
She had just finished recording and mixing her first EP together with producer Paolo Garcia (aka Pasta Groove). She will be having her EP launch on May 15, 2014 at 121 (Allegro Center, Pasog Tamo Extention, Makati)”
– Do you have a title for your EP?
This debut EP is self-titled. Each of the songs were born from different sources of inspiration that reflect back to who I am as a person still exploring and growing as a musician. I wasn’t following any theme or even a genre during the process of creating this and so in the end, both Paolo Garcia my producer and I agreed to entitle the EP as simply ‘Jireh’.
– How did this thing come about?
It was a fateful night that night I first visited and jammed in Tago Jazz Cafe — a place which has become something sort of my musical home — sometime in October 2013. It also happened to be Paolo’s first time visiting Tago, together with his keyboardist friend Nikki Cabardo. He watched us jam that night and I must have caught his attention because he added me on Facebook a day or so later, sent me a message (saying, “You are amazing,”) and shared me some of the music he produced. I didn’t really know who he was then but I found the music he produced really interesting so I was more than game when he asked me later in December if I was interested in cooking up something with him in his home studio. He asked if I had originals so I sent him a raw draft of a song I was working on and he told me to come by the studio so we could “cook up something”. Visited his studio the very next day, which also happened to be the first day of the new year, and we recorded just some raw keys and vocals for the song and then he let me listen to a vast array of vinyl records, sharing with me the jewels of the past decades. The next time I visited the studio, he asked if I would let him produce my first EP. I said yes, of course. I was very excited to finally be able to record my music.
– What did your producer provide to the creative process?
There was a lot of teamwork in the creative process. My producer respected the musical vision I had for each song and basically let me do what I wanted and I respected as well the ideas he had and let him add his own flavour to the songs. If I didn’t like something, I’d tell him and he’d adjust and if he thought something could sound better, I’d listen and follow his suggestion. If we’re both happy, it’s all good.
– What can we expect from your EP
Catch Jireh Calo’s Debut EP Launch on May 15, 2014 at 121 Grille & Restaurant, 7pm onwards
– Bullet Dumas
– Emmanuelle Vera
– Chocolate Grass
– Ryan Villamor Trio
– Jireh Calo Project
Followed by a JAM SESSION with guest musicians.
Gate fee: Php200