An open letter to Ms. Dewi Gontha – the brains behind the brain trust behind Java Jazz
A few months back, we had a delightful discussion about your world-famous, much-anticipated, annual jazz fest.
What makes it tick? Why it has become a yearly “habit” for jazz afficionados? What’s ahead?
You also told me that Java Jazz woud love to have Filipino artists in the line-up… but your familiarity with our homegrown musicians was extremely limited – hovering towards non-existent.
Let me take the cudgels for my fellow Pinoy musicians and give you 5 reasons why you should seriously consider having artists of the Filipino strain in your line-up.
Filipinos are extraordinarily skilled and gifted in this musical genre: they readily embraced jazz way before it was fashionable in all of Asia.
That’s why very Filipino names turn up whenever the history and development of jazz is brought up.
It’s good for business. Your business.
Aside from rare and under-supported visits by jazz luminaries like Esperanza Spalding, Chris Botti, and Lee Ritenour, Filipino music enthusiasts have had very litte opportunity to savor jazz riffs from outside sources… and have had very little respite from the non-stop concerts of pre-fabricated pop artists – mostly of the K-pop variety.
Including Pinoy acts within Java Jazz will draw hordes of Filipino jazz lovers to your fabulous event – in great numbers.
It will be good for “balance”.
No doubt, you ALWAYS have the latest and the greatest in jazz music – but they are mostly from the West.
Music geniuses also exist in the “eastern” corridor of the world. Delighting hundreds of thousands… even in Third World countries.
You no longer have to be unaware of Pinoy jazz artists.
I can name names – if you have at least an hour to listen.
It’s the right thing to do.
Filipino jazz greats – alongside their Indonesian and Malaysian brothers – need the exposure that your event (alone) can give in order to widen their audience and to get inspired along the way.
Thank you, Dewi!