By Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul
Musicians from all over the world flock to the island for its debut Latin and Jazz week
The tropical island of Samui has earned fame and fortune with its annual Samui Jazz bash and now the Samui Municipality is spicing up the annual repertoire by introducing a music festival that highlights hot Latin sounds and cool jazz.
Taking place at the end of next month, Samui Latin and Jazz Week 2013 aims to bring local and international tourists to the island as the high season gets underway.
“The Koh Samui Municipality and the Tourism Authority of Thailand are collaborating on ‘Samui Latin and Jazz Week 2013’. The island offers visitors and residents a smooth and smart way of living and we feel that the atmosphere here is better represented by Latin sounds than jazz,” says Naddapen Toommanon, adviser to the Mayor of Koh Samui and a member of the festival committee.
“Samui has never really had an event calendar as such so this festival will become part of the TAT’s annual calendar,” she adds.
The Samui Latin and Jazz Week, which runs from September 29 to October 6, will take place at six different venues around the island and feature more than 40 international and Thai artists who will perform in various styles spanning the Latin and jazz music spectrum. On October 4-5, there’ll be a main stage on Chaweng Beach at the beachfront Amari Palm Reef.
Latin American rhythms with electrifying percussion are coming courtesy of Dina Medina from Cape Verde, Nando Vanin from Columbia, Amik Guerra from Cuba and Nils Fischer with Cabo Cuba Jazz.
US jazz vocalist Deborah Brown brings the classics of Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. Saskia Laroo, a Dutch jazz musician dubbed “Lady Miles Davis”, and her quartet Jazzkia will perform a perfect fusion of jazz, funk and dance. Peter Beets will present new songs from his newly released album “Portrait of Peterson”.
Others artists include Nadia Basurto and Miguel Rodrigues from Spain, Judith Nijland and Rolf Delfos from the Netherlands, French pianist and singer Fabio Deldongo, as well as Thai saxophonist Koh Mr Saxman and Changton featuring Buntita.
The festival gets underway on September 29 with Deborah Brown and Dina Medina & Cabo Cuba Jazz at Maenam’s Fair House Villas & Spa. On September 30, Trio Peter Beets and Judith Nijland & the Beets Brothers entertain at Rocky’s Boutique Resort in Lamai. On October 1, Saskia Laroo performs at The Drink Gallery in Chaweng followed by on October 2, Miguel Rodrigues featuring Nadia Basurto at The Passage Samui in Laem Yai. October 3 is Salsa Night with Nando Vanin at Centara Grand Beach Resort in Chaweng. The artists all meet up in Chaweng on October 4 and 5 for main stage shows.
The Samui Latin and Jazz Week is being held under the auspices of the Dutch Embassy and boasts the Amersfoort Jazz Festival and the Leusden Jazz Festival, both in the Netherlands, as partner events, resulting in a large delegation of Dutch artists coming to perform in Samui.
“We want to make Koh Samui find more fame abroad and get the recognition of jazz lovers from all over the world,” says Naddapen.
All proceeds of the event will be donated to the Green Island Foundation to support sustainable community-run projects on the island.
“The environment comes first for us. Although Green Island Foundation has been running for years, only now is it really being successful in raising awareness about the environment. Hotels play an important role by using EM [effective micro-organisms] technology. The EM is emerging as one of the environmental solutions towards reducing water pollutants and thus improving water quality in the river and drains. Others initiatives are getting together to clean the beaches, the seabed and the mangrove forest. Green Island’s latest project involves growing coral and reviving coral,” says Naddapen.
All jaxxed up
_ Concerts from September 29 to October 3 cost Bt500 available at the venue or can be reserved by emailing email@example.com. Admission to the main stage events on October 4 and 5 is free.
_ Visit www.SamuiLatinAndJazzWeek.com