Seoul Jazz Festival 2014

Seoul Jazz Festival 2014 Opening Night

Although there is still heavy construction at Olympic Park station, after taking a right out of exit 3 in between the fried squid, corn, and chestnuts, there laid a beautiful sunset above the jazz festival grounds.  The music was already carrying throughout the air and the positive vibes and good moods kept the brisk, spring evening at bay.  Upon entering the event, it was clear that a large amount of planning for this festival had taken place. In the May Forest venue, plenty of grass seating was available, as well as multi-directional screens to ensure a guaranteed a view of the show no matter where you sat or stood.  Although only a small crowd had arrived at the start, as the crisp spring evening unfolded, more jazz aficionados took their seats on the plush grass field.

Michael Camilo and Tomatito were the first performers to take the stage at the event’s largest outdoor venue, The May Forest. The duo played various Jazz classics from all over the world, as well as a few of their own creations.  The piano, played by Michael Camilo, mixed well with Tomatito’s classical guitar.  Although it seemed that the low end of a rhythm section was missing in some songs. However, most of the jams were executed to perfection and washed over the amazed, seated audience. Michael and Tomatito have a natural rapport that allowed each of them to switch from lead to rhythm almost seamlessly. Following their great performance, Chris Botti took the stage.

With a full band and Chris’s amazing talent as a veteran trumpet player, their sound saturated the area with smiles, bringing a true Jazz experience to the attendees of the opening night event for the 2014 Seoul Jazz Festival.  During a bass and drum solo, the band had a great jam session that started with the metal classic “Iron Man” and grooved its way in to the funk classic “Give Up the Funk”.  It was hard to resist the instinct to move with the music, and fortunately the Heineken and Yellow Tail vendors kept the crowd loosened up. Before Chris Botti’s set came to an end, the Sparking Dome venue started its first festival performance with Lee Seung Hwan.

A jazz aficionado wouldn’t describe Lee Seung Hwan’s music as traditional style, perhaps more of ballad style. However a large crowd had gathered to watch him perform. All in all, it was a great night to check out some jazz and watch the sunset.  The 2014 Seoul Jazz Festival  is going on all weekend (the 17th and 18th) at Line 5’s Olympic Park Station Exit 3.

Check out our article about the entire festival right here to get the lowdown on some of the artists that will be there!