OCT-LOFT is quickly becoming the place in Shenzhen to go for great music — from Latin jazz to jazz-funk, to big time stars and alternative. One of the best ways to wrap up the sounds of the early autumn is the Fifth OCT-LOFT Jazz Festival to be held from Oct. 9 to 25.
Featuring enthralling performances from remarkable musicians, jazz, tango, folk and pop-infused favorite will all be represented this year. If you are completely new to jazz, an enthusiast or just love all types of music, do not miss this celebrated annual festival of established and rising stars.
This year’s headliner is French accordion player Richard Galliano, a living legend in the global jazz scene. Critics and international fans recognize him as the descendant of Astor Piazzolla, the late Argentinean Tango Nuevo master, and a worthy successor to this tradition.
Galliano twice won the first prize at the world accordion cap competition, which took place in Spain (1966) and France (1967). In his friend and mentor Piazzolla’s inspiration, Galliano fought for the position for the accordion in jazz successfully. His technical command, mastery of phrasing and rainbow palette of tonal colors have allowed him to surmount musical barriers with a sound that cuts across all genres.
Other acts include Polish band Jazzpospolita, avant-funk group World Service Project from England and German free jazz saxophonist and clarinetist Peter Brötzmann, whose rough timbre is easily recognized on his many recordings.
Jazzpospolita’s jazz collides with post rock and electronic. Six years into their career, Jazzpospolita has become one of the most interesting phenomena in alternative music. The combination of jazz harmonies, overdriven guitars and electronic sounds enable the band to attract a widely varied audience as well as to perform at jazz clubs and major festivals.
London-based World Service Project plays jazz-infused nu-funk, rammed with stop-start melodies, crunching bass guitar and drum grooves and sophisticated horn parts for Tim Ower’s alto sax and Raphael Clarkson’s trombone. World Service Project’s music speaks through dark, playful, building passages, winding through dissonance, complex rhythmic manipulation and downright silliness.
Every year, the festival also delivers a few nights of Chinese flavor with global styles. Yi Jialin, a Chongqing-based shakuhachi player, will show off folk music with his rarely seen instrument.
The shakuhachi is the Japanese name of an end-blown bamboo flute. It was originally from China, where it is called the chiba, and introduced to Japan in the eighth century. Though it originated in China, it is not widely known in the country, so its Japanese name is used universally. Yi once said he couldn’t find the instrument in Chongqing, so he had to make his own with the assistance of his friends in Japan who gave him a lot of information.
Yi later studied the instrument online with a Japanese teacher and says there are only 500-600 people in China who play the shakuhachi.
Apart from the 16 nights of shows, jazz lovers will be delighted with free lectures by some of the artists, a documentary screening and a workshop during the festival. More information can be found at www.octloftjazz.com.