Thursday, October 28, 2010


Ron Sagye La Rue reviews one of Meritage Press' multi-genre pieces, STAGE PRESENCE: CONVERSATIONS WITH FILIPINO AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTISTS edited by jazz musician/scholar/critic/editor/professor Theodore S. Gonzalves. The review appears in JAZZ NEWS!

Yeah! Here's an excerpt below; click HERE for whole thing:
Stage Presence brings together in book form 10 artists: musicians, poets,dancers and choreographers of Filipino ancestry. Mostly known in the Filipino American community,but also in The Philippines. For the purpose of this review I'm focusing on artists influenced by Jazz. Gabe Baltazar Jr.(Filipino father,Japanese mother)a bonafide Jazz musician. Interviewed by Theo Garneau,speaks of his early up-bringing in Hawaii by mainly his grandmother. His father was a musician working jobs-- Baltazar talks candidly about being Filipino/Japanese(it wasn't that common in the 1930s,he played in Filipino bands firstly. Names like Benny Lapot a saxophonist, The Blue Chords, and Bernie Conception.


Makata(poet) Jessica Hagedorn originally from The Philippines came to America in her teens best known for her novels Dogeaters, and Dream Jungle. Has worked with cutting-edge Jazz musicians trombone player Julian Priester(Sun Ra,Max Roach) composed music for her. Hagedorn shares her experience from the 1970s thru the 1980s,on the West Coast of America,San Francisco. And the transition to New York and being influenced by the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Having gigs with vibist Jay Hoggard. Jazz musicians backing poets was 'in' during the 1950s and '60s. This is one of the shortest pieces in the book but very informative.

Released in 2007 but unique enough to be timeless, STAGE PRESENCE can be ordered at

Labels: ,