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Hanoians get into the swing

Dec 3, 2001

HanoiansVietnamnews - Ha noi isn’t usually known as an Asian jazz capital, but maybe it now deserves that tag : after all , it’s not often that a city gets to enjoy two jazz festival literally back-to-back.

The headline event is city’s European Jazz Festival,running from November 24 to December 7,involving bands from Viet Nam ,Belgium,Denmark,France and Britain.

But right on the eve of this event came the Heineken jazz Festival, which took place over two nights ( November 23 and 24) on an outdoor stage at Con Coc (Toad) Park, next to the Metropole Hotel.

Jazz audiences aren’t always large,but there’s no shortage of enthusiasm, as any visitor to the festival venues-the Ha Noi Opera House, Youth Theatre, the Horison Hotel and Minh’s Jazz Club-can attest.

The Heineken event,which was part of the French- built Metropole’s 100th birthday celebrations,took an original tack: the theme was traditional Vietnamese folk music performed in a jazz style.

The Phuong Dong Band’s song Do Tinh was a romantic and enthusiastic rendition of a selection of traditional folk music, which they followed up with Bac Thang, a melody using the rhythm of the ethnic Thai folk song Inh La Oi.

Another fine moment at the Heineken festival was performance of Singapore’s Jeremy Monteiro Jazz Band.

Monteiro has been described by Switzerland’s Swing magazine as “one of the greatest exponents of jazz piano.”

Meanwhile, at the European Jazz Festival, plenty of Vietnamese artists got a look – in.

These included living jazz legend Quyen Van Minh and his quintet, the Voeten/Bernay quintet,and the Song Hong (Red River) Band.

Minh said he first heard jazz in the early 1970s on American Radio and the BBC, and has since tried to creat jazz with aVietnamese folk flavour.

The other bands participating in the first Ha Noi European Jazz Festival include the much-lauded Claire Martin and her quartet from the UK; the Houben/Pirotton/Pougin trio from Belgium; the Daniel Humair trio from France; the Chris Minh Doky trio from Denmark; and the Voeten/Bernay quintet from Viet Nam.

by Tri Binh 3/12/2001


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