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Portraits in Jazz: Tots Tolentino in the cool of the moment

(First of a series) EDITOR’S NOTE: With this piece, Jocelyn de Jesus starts a series of portraits resulting from conversations with stellar Filipino jazz practitioners—“in full bloom in their 60s and 70s,” she says, and “changing the game one gig at a time.”     Mario “Tots” Tolentino’s household-name status in contemporary Philippine music is undisputed, having...


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...


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...