Jazz Fest, a huge success in Manila

The 4th Philippine International Jazz Festival (PIJF) which lasted for almost a month was an enormous success! Presented by ABS-CBNÆs Cable Channel and Print Management Group (CCPMG), with flagship brands Lifestyle Network, Velvet, Metro and Metro Society, jazz fans and enthusiasts attended the various events offered by PIJF and were able to meet their favorite Pinoy and International jazz icons.

The festival was formally opened by the 'International Jazz GalaÆ at the Mandarin OrientalÆs CaptainÆs Bar where a diverse lineup of performers, Laurence Elder, Chieko Fukuda, Amir Gwirtzman, SacbT, Jazz Divas of Asia, Tots Tolentino and many others, showcased their unique talent and love for jazz music.

Various mall tours were headlined by jazz artists from around the world - Sacbe, Laurence Elder, Amir Gwirtzman, Fabio Turchetti and a host of others.

People from all walks of life and ages took part in the workshops by some of the most talented jazz artists including Laurence Elder, Mike Stern, Hiromi and Fabio Turchetti among others. Ray Sidney, Bola and Kookie Taylor from the Black Gospel group also held their workshop wherein their students made up the 100-member Black Gospel choir which performed at Eastwood. Included in the list of songs which they performed was Mary J. BligeÆs æPraise You.Æ As part of the festivity, PIJF also had workshops in various colleges and universities around the metro as well as a æFriendship JamÆ at Strumms which was open to anyone who wanted a good jazz show.

Two nights of jazz music at the Rockwell Tent was any jazz enthusiastsÆ dream come true. The first night featured performances by top jazz musicians and bands such as one of the most captivating female jazz pianists of our time Hiromi with her band Sonicbloom, Singer & Songwriter Laurence Elder and forerunner of todayÆs smooth jazz stylings, Spyro Gyra. Hiromi captivated and amazed everyone with her astonishing talent in playing the piano that no one dared take their eyes off her performance. Laurence Elder soothed everyone with his own brand of performance while the group Spyro Gyra , as anticipated wowed the crowd through through their grand numbers.

The night also featured Pinoy jazz artists Humanfolk, Hairy Dwags, Asian Jazz Divas and Brass Munkeys which showcased how Filipino musicians are now at par with their international counterparts.

The following night was equally lively and awesome as singer and celebrated songwriter Dianne Reeves and premiere jazz fusion guitarist and four-time Grammy nominee Mike Stern performed their hearts and souls out. Mike SternÆs rock background was fused with his performance as he gave a rocking number one after the other. Meanwhile, Dianne Reeves showcased her very powerful voice where the audience even sang along to her songs which included her versions of æJust My Imagination,Æ æLove for SaleÆ and one of the songs that she wrote, æBetter Days.Æ Capping off the month-long festival was the æABS-CBN Jazz NightÆ at Mandarin Hotel with live performances by Charito, Ivan Lins and Claudia Acu±a.

Jazz fans who attended the events were on their feet dancing to the beat, clapping their hands to the music, swaying to the rhythm and singing out loud. The festival was indeed music heaven to all jazz afficionados.

Some of the guests sighted during the jazz nights were ABS-CBN executives Gabby Lopez and Monchet Olives and various celebrities like Phoemela Barranda with Bamboo guitarist Ira Cruz, bossa nova princess Sitti and actress Iza Calzado. For more updates and information, tune in to Lifestyle Network on Skycable 52, Velvet on Skycable 53 and in Metro and Metro Society magazines.