Taichung Jazz Festival

At some point the city fathers decided they wanted Taichung to be the "cultural center" of Taiwan as well as the geographic center. Part of this resulted in the now annual Jazz Festival that takes place here in October. I attended the first night at People's Square with my son Kevin. We stayed for the first act and got to enjoy the night sights, energy of a crowd together outdoors, and music all for the  same free price. It's great to attend outdoor events in a nice setting and People's Square didn't disappoint. The Barry Likumahuwa Project from Indonesia are a group of young, energetic musicians playing mostly what I call "smooth" or "pop" jazz. Not my favorite but certainly passable under the circumstances. My cynical side would be to call it jazz for people that don't like or "get" jazz but I digress.

I think they were a good choice for an opener since they brought good energy and familiar Asian friendliness to the air. Here are some shots from that night.


Mayor jason Hu, emceee's and other local dignitaries.


The band and it's 15 year old sax player.


As mentioned they had good energy and a lot of movement.


I loved Barry's geeky Atari shirt-a classic. Was ready fro a game of Pong after seeing that... 😀


Hot sax player in jam session from Thailand.


Some of the night lights-nearby Eslite Mall.


Shot of stage from the side.

9 Replies to “Taichung Jazz Festival”

  1. MJM

    It's truly a shame that the jazz scene is so limited in Taiwan. I share your cynicism about "smooth jazz" or "pop jazz". Hopefully, it can serve to bridge the gap between pop music and jazz for those people who are trying to learn more about it.
    As long as they are importing bands for this festival, there are tons of good jazz bands in the US that are virtually unknown and would jump at an opportuntity to play at something like this. Also, if costs associated with bringing in bands from N America or Europe are an issue the jazz scene in Japan is pretty respectable too.
    Thanks for your post.

  2. bbluesman

    I understand your feelings and am sympathetic to the question. It's just
    like any other external stimuli or object,let people eat what looks good to
    them. Everyone has to start some where. It'd be great if they got more
    diverse talent and yes I'm sure budget enters into the picture. Thanks for

  3. bbluesman

    Perhaps that was one of the motives behind organizers. The ultimate in jazz
    sophistication being Duke Ellington-jazz royalty.

  4. Barry Likumahuwa

    hello everybody.. i'm Barry Likumahuwa.. tx a lot for the comments i totally appreciate it. i myself is very aware that we aint playin jazz, maybe what u refer to 'smooth jazz' is more to it. but i prefer to call it funk jazz, haha.. but anyways, the idea of me playin that kinda music is to attract people whose used to hearing pop, start to look for jazz, then when audience who dont 'get' jazz is attracted, that's when those cats who play real jazz cums in 🙂
    i would love to play some coltrane miles and parker, but considering my age, and the commercial side, we chose to play the smooth pop jazz.. Tx again for the comments, such an honour 🙂 GOD bless u all.

  5. bbluesman

    Hi Barry,Nice to see you are paying attention. All your points are noted and
    appreciated. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. bbluesman

    Hi Barry,Nice to see you are paying attention. All your points are noted and
    appreciated. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. bbluesman

    Hi Barry,Nice to see you are paying attention. All your points are noted and
    appreciated. Thanks for stopping by.

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