There’s Jazz in Macau!

Hello y’all! Or should I say Nǐ hǎo?

Macau Jazz Week Poster

As I told you in my last post, I’ve been in Macau for the past month. In what comes to entertainment, Macau is mostly known for having casinos and more casinos, together with the World Heritage historical centre and the Formula 3 Grand Prix. However, from time to time, there are some special activities to entertain tourists and locals. This past week was fertile with such activities, with the Macau Jazz Week taking place. Both international and local musicians were invited to participate in several concerts and workshops. Being a music fan I had to take the opportunity to enjoy some fine jazz in a nice setting, so I went to the grand finale concert, which included a jam session with seasoned musicians and young local talents. The gig was opened by the Bridge Jazz band, composed by veteran macanese musicians, with a very nice feel. They were followed by another macanese band, this time with young guys.

The next guys were a trio from Hong Kong, called TriTone, and with an odd lineup: flute and baritone flute, guitar and percursion. They were really entertaining, especially with their version of the brazilian classic Tico-tico do Fubá, of which I filmed an excerpt:

The evening went on with yet another brazilian classic, Girl from Ipanema, this time by Winnie Ho & WVC Trio +1:

And last, but not the least, here’s the amazing Charles Foldesh and his quintet:

All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening in a beautiful setting in this side of the world. Hope you liked it as much as I did!

Macau Jazz Week - The Bridge Jazz Band

I’m back!

Lions dance in Saint Paul's Ruins, MacaoThe title of this post has two meanings: I’m back in the blog and I’m back in Macau!

Sorry for being absent for such a long time, but Nuno did a pretty good job keeping the boat afloat. Thanks for that, mate!

In my first time here I met a group of very nice people that made my stay a lot of fun. One of them has become, or so I gather, our first polish blog follower and has since then sent me a handful of musical suggestions that I promised to post here. So here’s a playlist with the nice songs Olga sent me – it ranges from Sweden to Czech Republic. Enjoy!

When thinking about Macau, apart from the obvious chinese music accompanying dancing dragons and lions, one of the first things that comes to my mind in musical terms is the portuguese band Rádio Macau that had a few hits in the 80’s and 90’s, the best know being O Anzol (the fishhook). I’ve come to like two or three of their songs in the past few months, especially O elevador da Glória (Glória’s funicular – national monument) and Bom dia Lisboa (good morning Lisbon). Incidentally, both speak about the portuguese capital and its charms, and returning home after going around the world visiting other places, which obviously appeals to me while staying abroad 🙂 But enough chit chat chatter, here are the songs:

The birth of a genre

Hey y’all!

Long time no see, ha? Sorry for the long absence, but I haven’t got any spare time for ages, but it feels good to be back 🙂

In the last two weeks of July I went to Macau, China to do some work at the local university, and that also contributed to my absence here. I wasn’t able to see any local band while I was there, but a little search on the internet brought these guys into my attention – they’re WhyOceans,  a macanese post-rock/alternative band with a very nice sound. Please do check them out!

But, as good as these Macanese are, my post today is dedicated to an entirely different style: electronic music. Yes, I’m not usually very fond of electronic music, but in this past few days I’ve been buried deep in the music of Kraftwerk and I’m growing fonder and fonder of their music. Kraftwerk (and others, like Jean-Michel Jarre) paved the way for most of today’s ambient / new age / dance-pop / techno / house /dubstep /etc… Their 1978 album, Die Mensch Machine was also issued with english lyrics, and the song Das Model / The Model became an international hit.

As you can see, they were renowned for their driving, repetitive rhythms with catchy melodies, mainly following a Western Classical style of harmony, with a minimalistic and strictly electronic instrumentation. During my flight back home I heard this song around 10 times, which for me is a lot 😛 I even recorded my own cover, which you can hear here (do not expect a masterpiece – it was very roughly played/recorded).

To end this comeback post, check Kraftwerk live at Japan at the No Nukes.

See you next time!