1,252

Live!Singapore: June 8-11, 2010

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Rarely do the worlds of jazz, classical music, world music and musical theatre come together in one place to hobnob and strut their stuff, but that was exactly what happened at Live!Singapore, an ambitious event organized by Koelnmesse and IMG Artists. Festival directors, producers, agents, managers, executives and artists of these four disciplines came from more than fifty countries, and gathered in Singapore to discuss the respective challenges they face in a rapidly changing world, both technologically and demographically speaking.
The choice of Singapore as the venue was a sign of the growing importance of Asia in the performing arts marketplace. The exchange of ideas and the forging of new partnerships were the principal aims of Live!Singapore, a three-day event which united an extremely impressive array of figures from the performing arts in a series of forums and discussions. An international trade fair and a series of outstanding showcase performances from some of the world's most renowned musicians provided the opportunity for attendees to show off their wares.
Each day had a particular focus, with classical music on day one, musical theatre on day two, and jazz and world music on the final day. The focus was largely, though not exclusively, on the performing arts in Asia, and what emerged strongly from each day were the common themes of the desire to reach a greater audience, the importance of education in generating an appreciation of the arts among the young, the need for partnership and collaboration, and the challenges of promoting Asian artists both at home and abroad.
The three-day extravaganza got under way with a jaw dropping performance from American violinist Joshua Bell. Looking relaxed in a black t-shirt, Bell demonstrated in just fifteen minutes why he is considered to be one of the very finest concert violinists in the world. Even those who are not devotees of classical music were beguiled. Although the differences between the classical, musical theater and jazz and world fields are pronounced in some ways, Zarin Mehta, President and Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic struck a resonating chord when he said in the subsequent panel discussion: "Great music will always find a foothold." In jazz, this has always been the case and is why the music survives, continues to grow and to redefine itself.

The similarities between the status of classical music and jazz, just as much as the differences, were salient in the keynote speeches of Sir Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall, and Tsung Yeh, Director of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, and in the fascinating panel discussion which followed. Gillinson's mission at Carnegie is to present "the best of all music" and nobody could accuse Carnegie of having ignored jazz over the years. From Duke Ellington's annual Carnegie concerts in the '40s to Sonny Rollins' concert in '08 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of his first appearance there, jazz has played an important part in the legend that is Carnegie. Incidentally, as Warren Allen pointed out in his review of eighty five year-old reedman James Moody's 4B (IPO Recordings, 2010), Carnegie Hall has played host to Moody at least once every single year since '50.

From left: John Holden, Sir Clive Gillinson

In a captivating and eloquent speech Gillinson spoke of the need to bring classical music back to the people through outreach and education programs. Over $200 million has been spent to update the performance areas in Carnegie Hall, and Gillinson has done an admirable job in bringing in punters who are experiencing Carnegie Hall and possibly classical music for the first time. Jazz, like classical music, has always had a small but cogent market; the two musical forms share the mark of minority music and perhaps elitists ones at that, though jazz has never enjoyed the level of state funding or the profile that classical music has. One notable exception is the Lincoln Center where Wynton Marsalis is doing something analogous to Sir Clive Gillinson at Carnegie The annual Essentially Ellington Competition, for example, sends out six original Duke Ellington charts transcribed by David Berger, with a recording of the pieces performed by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. The program has been running since ' 94 and has reached nearly a quarter of a million students.

Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom Live Reviews Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
by Geoff Anderson
Published: February 20, 2017
Read The Cookers at Nighttown Live Reviews The Cookers at Nighttown
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens Live Reviews Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 15, 2017
Read Kronos Festival 2017 Live Reviews Kronos Festival 2017
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Punkt Festival 2016" Live Reviews Punkt Festival 2016
by Henning Bolte
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Gregory Porter At The Ulster Hall, Belfast" Live Reviews Gregory Porter At The Ulster Hall, Belfast
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 6, 2016
Read "ECM Showcase at NYC Winter Jazzfest 2017" Live Reviews ECM Showcase at NYC Winter Jazzfest 2017
by Tyran Grillo
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "2016 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit" Live Reviews 2016 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Peacemaker Music & Arts Fest 2016" Live Reviews Peacemaker Music & Arts Fest 2016
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 17, 2016
Read "Nik Bärtsch’s Mobile at the Rubin Museum of Art" Live Reviews Nik Bärtsch’s Mobile at the Rubin Museum of Art
by Tyran Grillo
Published: June 7, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!