August 22nd 2012
Why music lovers and hooligans will both appreciate this weekend on Magnetic Island
It’s hard to imagine a more fortunate place to be than on Magnetic Island this weekend. Not just for the Island’s beauty and divine weather at this time of year but because Islanders will be in the company of some truly great, world class, artists and their work. Think Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Chet Baker or Chick Corea and you are in the zone because this weekend, on Magnetic, at least one of our visitors, Bill Watrous, who played with these colossal legends, will be here to perform alongside a line-up of stellar talents from other parts of the world and Australia at the 16th Great Tropical Jazz Party on Magnetic Island.
Seven times voted “Trombonist of the year” in Jazz Bible, Downbeat Magazine, Bill Watrous will be playing the Saturday night concert performance with jazz/Latin ensemble, the San Gabriel 7. And, to complete the loop of talent to Queensland, the 7 will be featuring the magnificent vocals of Brisbane’s Ingrid James, of whom Watrous said, "If this were the 50's Jazz era, Ingrid James would be performing alongside other greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. She is by far one of the best jazz vocalists I have ever worked with...”
The San Gabriel 7 are here to perform material from their recent, highly acclaimed, international release, Lost My Heart an album that sourced its title from an original song written by Ingrid James and Brisbane pianist, Louise Denson. The album features jazz standards, Brazilian bossas and sambas, Miles Davis and George Shearing contemporary jazz repertoire as well as classics from Joni Mitchell and Donald Fagen (Steely Dan).
According to Watrous, it is, "music the way it's supposed to feel", tight horns, a killer rhythm section, creative arrangements and both original and clever new takes on familiar jazz and latin standards.”
But wait, there’s more. Much more!
A punk music outfit of young women called Pussy Riot have just been sentenced to two years jail in Russia for dancing and singing in an Orthodox church. Their charges included “hooliganism”. It’s a word which resonates for artists who lived behind the old “iron curtain”. It certainly did so for one, Miroslav Bukovsky, who escaped from Czechoslovakia in the late 1960s. Miroslav was a muso but not one sanctioned by the state. He loved and played jazz and, for his crime, was labelled, officially as a “hooligan”. This weekend, Miroslav returns to Magnetic with his hooligan musical mates, aka the Bukovsky Sextet.
Last year Miroslav and his accomplices treated GTJP goers to a magic rendition of Miles Davis’ landmark album, Kind of Blue. This year it will be a tribute to the legendary, fast fingered, Adderley Brothers.
Another musician to feature, is Ben Hauptman, of whom, SMH's music critic, John Shand wrote,“Ben Hauptmann is blessed with one of those restless imaginations that makes his music impossible to contain.” An internationally recognized, award winning, Australian jazz guitarist, Ben writes the Lead Work column for The Australian Guitar Magazine and also teaches guitar at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne. He has contributed to over twenty recordings and for this year’s Magnetic Island Jazz Festival, he will be performing music from his recent self-titled release. Accompanying Ben will be his sister Zoe Hauptmann on bass, who Islanders may well remember accompanying the superb John Hoffman (who is also back) at previous GTJPs.
While barely scratching the surface of this weekend’s musical delights which features an unbelievable 40 musicians packed into three days, we can only urge readers to check out the full line-up for themselves (Click here).
It doesn’t get much better than this, from cool music lovers to hooligans and everybody in between, on Magnetic Island this weekend.
Story: George Hirst
Photo courtesy Magnetic Jazz
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