Jarasum International Jazz Festival, 3-5 October, Bigger And Better Than Ever!


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The Jarasum International Jazz Festival returns for its eleventh edition between 3 - 5 October. Last year’s 10th anniversary bash attracted over 230,000 Korean jazz fans and an even greater number is expected this year. As ever, a veritable feast of international jazz will be served up on the festival’s numerous stages.

Korean jazz in all its wonderful variety is always extremely well represented at Jarasum and in the first decade of what is surely one of the world’s best attended jazz festivals more than 380 Korean jazz bands have entertained the crowds. This year is no exception – the MC Lee Band, JJ Park Rhythm Touch, Lim Yujin Quartet, Lee Seong Hoon Trio and the Keon Sik Yang Quartet are just a few of the names to watch out for.

This year, some of the international highlights include trombonist Jan Lungdren’s Trio featuring harmonica ace Gregoire Maret, the legendary Yellowjackets, pianist Joachim Kuhn, Latin saxophonist Paquito de Rivera and funk giant Maceo Parker.

A special focus on Norwegian jazz throws up a number of mouthwatering concerts, including Mathias Eick, veterans Terje Rypdal and the Tord Gustavsen Trio.

For guitar fans the Allan Holdsworth Trio featuring Jimmy Haslip and Gary Husband should provide one of the most electrifying gigs of the festival.

The pop-up stage is always a source of fun and surprises and for those who feel like chilling out the acoustic stage is a good bet.

Jarasum is nothing short of a small city for three days – one dedicated to nothing but great music and fun. An all-night cinema will screen a number of jazz-related films, including the glorious animated film Chico and Rita, featuring a great soundtrack by Bebo Valdes. Numerous food stalls will serve up a feast of world cuisine and there is entertainment for children, arts and crafts workshops and much, much more besides.

Jarasum International Jazz Festival is dedicated to promoting up-and-coming jazz artists and this year’s Jazz Concours is well worth checking out to get an idea of the range and depth of young jazz talent in South Korea today. As has become tradition in recent years the festival begins with the winner of last year’s competition; this year the honor of opening the JIJF on the main stage falls to the seven-piece Jarasum Creative Music Camp Band.

The JIJF is always on the lookout for new talent and this year The Gapyeong Elementary School Recorder Class gets a gig. Who knows? The next Tae Hwan Kang may well be in the ranks of this school outfit!

There is an embarrassment of musical riches on offer at the JIJf –several other concerts stand out, including the Arild Anderson Band, the Hristo Vitchev Quartet and Girls in Airports and the Laurent Maur Quartet.

It promises to be another unforgettable weekend of jazz at Jarasum.

For tickets, camping information etc. please visit the festival website.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz.
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