The setting was perfect. A calm, balmy evening on the sands with a backdrop of distant lightning, well-lit ships on the horizon, the sultry sounds of international jazz musicians AND all for free. The introductory lyrics ‘summer time and the living is easy’ said it all. For a mixed audience of Thai and foreign jazz lovers this was a concert which showed that live music and world class entertainment on the beach is really appreciated.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) supported local authorities in Hua Hin, Ignite Asia Co., Ltd. and the Centara Grand Beach Resort to stage this international jazz music event on the Hua Hin beach on Saturday, 10th May. International names on the program included The Dan Phillips Quartet with guitarist Dan Phillips from the USA, Richard Jackson, Yuki Makita, Mailow Motif from Singapore, Fried Pride from Japan and Banana Grooves from Lao PDR. Thai jazz artists included Koh Mr. Saxman, Pui Duangporn and the Vie Trio jazz band. Hua Hin Today had the opportunity to chat with the ‘Masters of Ceremony’, Khun Todd and Khun Ploy who were a big part of the event’s success. They were able to both introduce the performers and talk with them on stage in a combination of perfect English and Thai.
A multilingual approach to both the audience and the performers added to the international focus of the evening. It’s really appreciated when everyone can learn about the performers and understand proceedings. However Khun Todd, (we didn’t get his Thai name), who spent some years living in New Zealand was a little disappointed he couldn’t find any Kiwis in the crowd. Richard Jackson, originally from the USA but now a resident of Singapore, accepted an invitation to perform an unaccompanied and impromptu vocal rendition of ‘days of wine & roses’.
His message to the crowd “keep love and music in your hearts” added to the clear statement of everyone on stage that Thailand is a welcoming and safe country for visitors. The music was a combination of very cool jazz and a fusion of rock and popular music to satisfy all tastes. For me the highlight was the Japanese duo ‘Fried Pride’ who gave us a jazzed-up version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ and the chance for audience participation, whistling along during the chorus of Stevie Wonder’s ‘I just called to say I love you.’ During a relatively cool evening with some relief from the summer heat, there was a lot of warmth in the air and smiles on faces at this fine concert that you really shouldn’t have missed!