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Cooky Chua and Joaquin Ignacio on making music and the changing times

For some time it was a familiar scene: Wherever the singer Cooky Chua and Color It Red performed, her young son Joaquin Ignacio would be doodling backstage. At one point, during a break, he strode onto the stage, strumming his small guitar. Not surprisingly, Joaquin would heed the same calling years later: He picked up...

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All that Jazz: The music lives here

Second of two parts Perhaps the most resolute of the bar owners is Nelson Gonzales, drummer and owner of Tago Jazz on Main Avenue in Cubao, Quezon City, which is turning out to be jazz’s permanent home address. Open from Friday to Sunday for evening shows, Tago is the stage to be for jazz musicians...

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All that Jazz: The wow in the now

First of two parts On a cool Sunday afternoon in late January, they gathered at the rooftop of the nondescript NCC Building in Mandaluyong City: keyboardists Elhmir Saison and Butch Saulog, guitarists Riki Gonzales and Rey Infante, drummer Rey Vinoya, and bassist Dave Harder. It was clear from the jazz supergroup lineup—first-call musicians all—that there’d...

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PPO wows audiences from all walks of life in Iloilo, Capiz

ILOILO CITY—The concert’s surprise came in mid-performance, sweeping through the audience, the spark lit when the musicians played the “Mission Impossible” theme song (Lalo Schifrin) and Voltes V (Kobayashi Aso). Then followed Mike Hanopol’s “Laki sa Layaw (Jeproks)” to start a medley of OPM (Original Pilipino Music) songs.  By the time the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra...

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The Beatles, now and then

The Beatles never broke up; they’ve always been together in the collective memory of diehard fans like me.  I’m now 71 and I still spend my weekends watching their videos or singing what’s appropriate for the moment with a guitar (the ’60s on Sundays and the ’70s on Saturdays). Sixty years ago, I was a...

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Taylor Sheesh: A challenge to fan stereotypes

(Second of two parts) Taylor Sheesh: A Filipino’s homage to the American superstar Mac Coronel, a Filipino drag queen impersonating Taylor Swift as Taylor Sheesh, is challenging stereotypes about fans, an Ateneo de Manila University instructor said.  Sheesh rose to popularity after clips of her performing in the appearance of the American pop superstar became...

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Taylor Sheesh: A Filipino’s homage to the American superstar

(First of two parts) Taylor Sheesh: A challenge to fan stereotypes LIPA CITY—Dressed and accessorized as Taylor Swift, a Filipino drag queen entranced thousands of the American pop superstar’s fans who kept a symphony of screams going on a football field here on Aug. 12.  On stage, Mac Coronel’s alter ego Taylor Sheesh, wearing a...

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Benefit concert will feature PNoy’s personal playlist

The Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation (NCAF) is producing a concert featuring the songs that the late former president Noynoy “PNoy” Aquino loved for the benefit of the Benigno Simeon Aquino III Scholarship Endowment. “PNoy’s Playlist: The Concert” will be held on Aug. 11 starting at 8 p.m. at the Hyundai Hall, Areté, Ateneo de Manila University,...