Here in Phnom Penh, we are not exactly over-loaded with great Latin music performers. If the expat music community in the city can boast several great jazz players, pop singers, songwriters and rock'n'rollers, it is a little harder to find an authentic exponent of the Afro-Cuban/Latin sound. The irony of this is that Afro-Cuban/Latin rhythms are one of the central foundations of modern Cambodian pop music and dance music (e.g. Bolero, Cha-Cha, Bossa-Nova). Happily, Malaysian-based musician Marco Antonio Alonso will be making a return visit to Samai Distillery in Phnom Penh tonight (Thursday) to show us how it's done! Guitarist/singer/percussionist Marco will again team up with brothers-in-rhythm Phil Javelle and Lewis Pragasam to set the dancefloor ablaze. This music was made to make you move!
Another blazing 'hard-bop' session will follow tonight at Jazz Club Phnom Penh as the stripped-down jazz trio comprising of Seb Adnot (upright bass), Toma Willen (drums) and Norman King (tenor sax) breathe some fire into a selection of all-time jazz classics. Check out the video below for their version of Duke Ellington's 'Take The A-Train'.
New Phnom Penh establishment Mestizo is quietly advancing its reputation as a home for interesting, original and alternative music events. The small garden venue/restaurant, tucked away on a side-street near Monivong and Mao-Tse Toung Boulevards, has already hosted a 30-piece classical orchestra, an American actor/musician and a live improvised hip-hop band. This week's Mestizo roster of acts is typically atypical: a Jordanian electronica DJ, a Okinawan Sanshin recital and an indie/alternative pop producer from New York City! The self-styled 'Jungle Bar' does pretty good hummus, too! Check out the video below for a taste of the sound of the sanshin, a traditional Japanese three-stringed instrument which bears similarities to the Cambodian Chapei. Hear Takec perform on the sanshin at Mestizo on Friday night.
Mestizo regular Clay George will be in action on Wednesday night – this time in solo acoustic mode – at FCC Rooftop. Clay 'Crooner' George has been so busy recently with his 'Harry Connick Jr' jazz persona (weekly at Riverside Asian Bistro, Jazz Club Phnom Penh) it is easy to forget that he is a highly-accomplished singer-songwriter with three albums of alternative country music under his belt. Check out Clay's bandcamp page to listen and download. Check out his performance this coming Wednesday for some delicately-picked Americana sounds.
Whatever you're up to over the next few days, stay safe out there and... see you around the traps!