HK Intl Jazz Festival HK Jazz Festival Highlights


The Hong Kong International Jazz Festival takes place from Sep 25 – Oct 2, attracting 300 artists from 24 countries. It should be special. There’s something about jazz that never fails to connect with people. From grandfathers to bored, angry youths laying waste to London last month - jazz resonates. Well, arguably not those youths, but jazz is unique in that it’s cross-generational.

The festival will be held at the West Kowloon Cultural District, comprising 60 performances as well as talks and workshops. One of the highlights will be the Asian debut of five-time Grammy-winning trumpeter, Terence Blanchard, and Grammy-winning percussionist, Poncho Sanchez (pictured). We definitely want to see Poncho Sanchez, if at least for his name. It sounds like the beginning of a racist joke.

Other star turns include the world premiere of veteran pianist Ted Lo with his new jazz strings ensemble, Chico and the Gypsies; Freddy Cole Quartet (youngest brother of Nat King Cole) and Maria João & Mário Laginha. Even if you don’t know who they are, one of the best things about jazz is your ignorance doesn’t stop you having a good time. It’s like watching synchronised swimming.

A wide range of genres will be on show from gypsy swing to Afro-Cuban. And for the first time ever, Hong Kong audiences will be able to enjoy live klezmer music which originated from Eastern Europe and combines dance tunes with instrumental displays. Let’s hope it’s better than what we see coming out of Eurovision.

If only Boris Johnson knew.

Hong Kong International Jazz Festival
Sep 25 – Oct 2 in various locations
Tickets from HK$150
2111 5999 (Urbtix)


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