Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Miri, Miri, Quite Jazzily

I've never actually been a very jazz-y person. In fact, I don't even know how to correctly define what jazz music is all about.

Anyway, I'm being sent to cover the Miri Jazz Festival this weekend. But hey, there's a first for everything, and I'm quite excited about watching some good music performances, regardless of what genre they are.

So, a little research turned this little bit of info up:

From Wikipedia
Jazz is a musical art form that originated in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States around the start of the 20th century. Jazz uses improvisation, blue notes, swing, call and response, polyrhythms, and syncopation, and blends African American musical styles with Western music technique and theory. .... Jazz as a genre is often difficult to define, but improvisation is a key element of the form.

Jazz has been called America's classical music, and for good reason. Along with the blues, its forefather, it is one of the first truly indigenous musics to develop in America, yet its unpredictable, risky ventures into improvisation gave it critical cache with scholars that the blues lacked.

At the outset, jazz was dance music, performed by swinging big bands. Soon, the dance elements faded into the background and improvisation became the key element of the music. As the genre evolved, the music split into a number of different styles, from the speedy, hard-hitting rhythms of be-bop and the laid-back, mellow harmonies of cool jazz to the jittery, atonal forays of free jazz and the earthy grooves of soul jazz.

What tied it all together was a foundation in the blues, a reliance on group interplay and unpredictable improvisation. Throughout the years, and in all the different styles, those are the qualities that defined jazz.

After all that information, I can safely admit that I STILL don't know what the heck jazz music is all about.

But then again, I've never been able to tell music genres apart. It's not as clear cut as say... seperating Fantasy from Romance, or Drama from Comedy. Take rock music, for instance, there's pop rock, acid rock, glam rock, prog rock, soft rock, metal rock, folk rock, indie rock, The Rock, alt rock, modern rock, classic rock, blues rock, teen rock, emo rock... I got so confused by all thosesub-genres that I decided to label all my songs 'modern rock' for those that were released after 1990, and classic rock for those before. Simplified things a lot.

Anyway, Back to jazz. Like I said, I'm not a very big jazz fan, and I don't even own a jazz album (Some people say Norah Jones don't count), let alone been to a gig. But hey, there's a first for everything, right?

So it is that I'm actually looking forward to the Miri Jazz Fst on Friday. It'll at least gimme some time to myself to lepak and chill out to some (hopefully) good music. And I heard there's an SF Coffee there too, is it?

Anyway, here're the details of the fest:


Date: 11-12 May
Location: ParkCity Everly Hotel, Miri, Sarawak
Performers: Dirty Dozen Brass Band (USA), Lluis Coloma (Spain) etc.

Anyone else gonna be in Miri this Friday & Saturday?

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