PINOY JAZZ is a 70-minute video documentary that provides the first-ever documentation of the development of jazz in the Philippines, from its infancy in 1898, when Filipinos were first exposed to music performed by African-American soldiers, to its present-day maturity in which musicians are turning to indigenous sources for inspiration. Incorporating historical still photography, turn-of-the century film footage, maps, old recordings, present-day performances and interviews with veteran and contemporary musicians, the video presents an eye-opening view into an almost forgotten history of the art of jazz as it developed in the Philippines over the last century.
ABOUT THE VIDEO
Based on research published in the book "Pinoy Jazz Traditions" (Anvil, Philippines), 2004 National Book Award-winner for the Music category, this video documentary covers both historical and contemporary events, personalities, rare scenes and footage, and 20 original sound tracks. Wayne Enage, former jazz radio host and jazz club owner, kicks off the documentary as its narrator. He takes the audience back to 1898 when the African-American soldiers, sent to the Philippines to reinforce America's colonial rule after the defeat of the Spanish armada, introduced American Black music to the Philippines. PINOY JAZZ covers the era of Vaudeville or "stage shows" that were popular in Manila in the 1920's and which employed many gifted musicians who were exposed to "Ragtime" and "Dixieland" music. The video offers tantalizing evidence that the first Filipino settlers in Louisiana may have established Filipino jazz links to mother America.
The video covers the "Dance Band" era of the 1930's when Manila night clubs and ocean liners swung hard to the beat of big band music. The personal, on-camera testimony of singer Priscilla Aristorenas poignantly describes the hard times World War II brought to Manila while veteran jazz musicans like Lito Molina talk about how Bebop took the Philippines by storm during Liberation. Within the postwar period, the early recording industry spearheaded by Bataan Records founder, Cecil Lloyd, of African-American descent, may come as a surprise to audiences. The small jazz groups that emerged in Manila following the war, the exodus of Filipino musicians to other Asian destinations, and the UPSILON fraternity's sponsorship of big band jazz that lasted for decades are topics that may be of keen interest to jazz aficionados.
Unsung heroes from the past like living-legend Angel M. Peņa, who appears in the video, Narding and "Priscilla" Aristorenas, Federico Elizalde, Mesio Regalado, Toots Dila,Vestre Roxas, Josie Quizon, Lito Molina, Piding Alava and many more, have finally had their much-deserved chance to be documented for posterity and to be appreciated for generations to come. Present-day luminaries interviewed by foreign correspondent, Professor Ron Nethercutt, include Angel Peņa, Bob Aves, Albert Albert of Pangea, Joey Valenciano of Majam, Gus Lagman, while "Priscilla" Aristorenas narrates the World War II years.
Appearing as performers in the documentary includes, Prof. Rayben Maigue and the U.P.Jazz Ensemble, Tots Tolentino as featured soloist of the U.S.T. Jazz Band headed by Prof. Roger Llado, Sandra Lim of Jazz for Kicks, Scarlet, Charmaine Clamor, Candid Records artists Mishka Adams and the Johnny Alegre Affinity, and Elemento. The foregoing artists are but a few of the growing family of Pinoy jazz as it is today.
Soundtrack mastering by Noel de Brackinghe of Sweet Spot Studio. The project was produced by Richie Quirino, Collis Davis and Gus Lagman.