Wednesday, February 8, 2012
All that jazz
Jazz can be very difficult to grasp. However, what was played last Saturday at the residence of the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea was easy on the ear though the Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh, Taiyoung Cho, advised the audience to “listen with the heart, not the head”. Around 300 invitees followed his words and enjoyed the “Night of Jazzy Flare”, on a lush evening.
The quartet composed of pianist Kyungin Min, drummer Yeojung Hur, bassist Youngjun Jung -- all professors at renowned Korean universities -- and the 23-year-old singer Juyoung Park. They were flown in for three shows here in Dhaka, two at the ambassador's residence in Banani and one at the Gulshan Club.
The set began with a few instrumental classics such as “Things ain't what they used to be” of Mercer Ellington and “ No more blues” of the Brazilian King of Bossa Nova, Antonio Carlos Jobim. Eventually, Juyoung Park -- or, according to pianist Kyungin Min, “today's diva” -- joined the highly sophisticated band to sing “Girl talk” of Neal Hefti and “Come Sunday” of Jazz giant Duke Ellington. “'Come Sunday' is one of my favourite songs,” explained the charming Juyoung Park between two songs; it has such a passionate melody and sincere lyrics. I hope the effect of this song will linger.”
In between the two sets, students of the Korean School in Dhaka presented a traditional drum performance.
The set continued with classics such as “Isn't she lovely” of Stevie Wonder, a few Korean compositions and a unique version of the Tagore classic “Anandolokey”. Juyoung Park enjoyed the Bengali song especially for its beautiful melody. The song is also one of Mijarul Quayes' (secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) favourites, as he said in a short speech after the concert. He pointed out that only culture can build bridges between countries.
The concert was hosted by the Korean Association Bangladesh, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and co-sponsored by Meghna Group of Industries and Zeeshan International Agencies.
The Writer is an Intern at The Daily Star
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