The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), through the CCP Office of the President, is presenting a music festival featuring all-Filipino artists in Jazz Stay at Home: Virtual Jazz Festival 2020, which streams online via Facebook on the CCP Office of the President page and the CCP page from 25 to 27 September and from 2 to 4 October at 7:30 p.m.
The festival is free to the public, part of the CCP Office of the President Outreach Program billed as “Sining Sigla,” which pivots to digital to reach out to its audience despite the current ban on communal activities due to the pandemic. Amid this situation, music and the arts continue to bring not just entertainment and diversion but hope and inspiration around the world.
Jazz Stay at Home features an all-Filipino lineup of artists that include Nicole Asensio, Baihana, Tots Tolentino, Michael Guevarra, Simon Tan Trio, Pipo Cifra, Lorna Cifra, and other notable names in the Philippine jazz scene. Hosted by Stanley Seludo, a musician himself and a CCP trustee, the online event brings together jazz enthusiasts, both artists and audiences, in a series of concerts that showcases the different periods in jazz history. The best thing about this breakthrough event is that people can enjoy it in the comfort and safety of their homes.
On 25 September, the festival officially opened with a brief tour of the evolution of jazz, followed by “Timeless Jazz,” a selection of all-time favorite jazz songs performed by singer-songwriter Asensio.
On 26 September, a lecture-demo concert, “Saxophone Music Production at Home,” was conducted by saxophonist and musical arranger Michael Guevarra. His informative talk included topics such as live recording and Midi sequencing for Minus 1, and was made more entertaining by musical numbers. This was followed by “Pinoy Jazz,” a showcase of all-original compositions with a touch of Filipino music featuring Baihana, an all-female vocal trio that creates, arranges and performs music that is fresh to audiences young and old.
On 27 September, another saxophonist, Tots Tolentino performed online in “Free Jazz,” also known as improvisation where musicians play with liberty to create melodies on the spot. Tolentino is considered one of the finest session musicians in the Philippines.
On 2 October, “The Wonderful World of Bossa Nova” features musical director, composer and arranger Peter Paul “Pipo” Cifra as he talks about the fundamentals of jazz and its use in the composition of bossa nova, which is a mixture of samba and American jazz. This is followed by “Improvisation and All That Jazz” featuring Pipo Cifra’s sister, Japan-based bossa nova artist Lorna Cifra.
On 3 October, “Modern Jazz” will be presented by the Simon Tan Trio. Composed of Simon Tan, Joey De Guzman, and Rey Vinoya, the trio has been active in the local concert scene, in theater productions, and in festivals that resulted to collaborations with notable local and international artists.
On 4 October, the festival closes in an evening showcase of the Philippines’ jazz greats featuring Baihana, Simon Tan Trio, Nicole Laurel Asensio and Tots Tolentino. This gala showcase promises a grand night of free-spirited jazz music splendor.