Jazz and Cultural Performances and a Baseball Game

August 21, 2006 at 10:15 pm 20 comments

What do the three things in the title have in common?  I’ve watched all three this past weekend.

Cool Jazz Performances


My teenage son, Reggie, attended the University of Manitoba Jazz Camp last week.  This camp doesn’t have tents or makeshift shelters, as my mother thought before.  Camps, especially summer camps here in Winnipeg, can also mean an organized recreation or instruction for vacationing children, as this Jazz Camp was.  Junior/senior high school and college students signed up for this week-long camp and they learned how to improve their jazz and music skills from jazz musicians and vocalists, music educators and other musicians with an interest in jazz. 

The event ended last Saturday with a concert where the students performed at different sites in the University.  The students were separated in groups and each group performed about three to four pieces.  I’ve watched several concerts of Reggie and what I found interesting in this one is that the students were taught how to play by ear instead of reading the music.  Because the emcee explained, Jazz music is about spontaneity and improvisation, or something like that.  All the kids played their instruments very well and the audience really enjoyed every piece.

Reggie intends to pursue a career in Jazz Music at U of M when he graduates from high school next year.  And he was really excited, and always is, to meet jazz artists.  He proudly told me that he met Stefon Harris, who he said is connected with Bruno Records and he even got his signature.  I guess he is well renowned in the Jazz scene.

Cultural Performances at Folklorama

(Please click the links for pictures)

After Reggie’s performance at U of M, we headed to the Folklorama Pearl of the Orient Seas – Philippine Pavilion.  Folklorama is one of the biggest tourist attractions of Manitoba in the Summer.  Folklorama is a celebration of the cultural diversity of Canada.  This two-week event happens every August and different cultural groups set up pavilions in schools, community centers or church basements and they showcase cultural displays, their native food, music and dances.  There are several pavilions which include Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Portuguese and of course the Philippine pavilion just to name a few.  We’ve been going to the Philippine pavilion every year since I rediscovered Folklorama three years ago.  My kids always enjoy watching the Philippine dances. 

On Saturday, we saw the Abaniko or the Asian Fan Dance, the Wedding Dance, where a typical Philippine wedding was depicted, the Pandango sa Ilaw where performers danced with lighted candles inside glass cups on their heads and hands, the Tinikling, where dancers even as young as five or six, wove in and out of bamboo poles on the floor.  Dancers have to be agile in this last dance so that their feet won’t get caught between the bamboo poles.

After the performance, we went to the canteen.  We ate pancit, lumpia, empanada, ukoy, puto and kutsinta and we had the tapioca drink called sago.  Then we headed to the cultural displays where we again saw replicas of the bahay-kubo (hut) and jeepney and a real bunot and sungka.  There was a big map of the Philippines on the floor and I showed my kids what province I came from (Cavite), and also where their dad came from (Pasig).  And oh boy! Does Ryan have a sharp eye or what?  He pointed to me our name on the map.  I didn’t know about that.  Now my kids must think that we are something in the Philippines as our last name is also a famous brand there.

Baseball Game – Goldeyes vs. T-Bones

On Sunday, Ryan and I went to the CanWest Global Park to watch the Winnipeg Goldeyes play against the Kansas City T-Bones.  The two free front row tickets were courtesy of my mother, who knows that Ryan is such a sports fan.  This was the second time I have stepped into a baseball field.  The first time was last year.  Read about that here, as there is nothing compared to the thrill of that first experience.

I learned my lesson last year, so I came to the game equipped this time.  I brought my wide brimmed straw hat and I applied lots of sunblock.  I didn’t want to get sunburned again.  I brought the umbrella but Ryan didn’t want me to open it while we were in our seats.  People here in Canada use the umbrella only as a protection against the rain, unlike in the Philippines where we also use it as protection against the sun.  I didn’t want to embarrass Ryan anymore, as I already did once that day.

Well, you see, I know the proper etiquette when anybody’s national anthem is being played or sung.  You stand up, keep quiet, or sing along, and take off your hat if you’re wearing one.  When we stepped on that baseball field and went to our seats, I put my hat on right away as it was so hot, 31 C.  The wide brim of my hat gave me that much needed shade and I totally forgot that I was wearing it when they started playing the Star-Spangled Banner (T-Bones is a U.S. team).  We were already halfway through the song when Ryan told me that I should take off my hat.  Ooops. Sorry.  I forgot.  So I immediately took it off.   Oh, I didn’t intend to be rude.  It just slipped my mind. 

Well anyway, the game lasted until the ninth inning.  The Goldeyes won.  9 to 6.  Yey, Goldeyes!  And Ryan took home a souvenir.  A stray baseball, or is it called a foul ball (?), which one of the players threw his way.

That was my busy weekend.  I was so exhausted and staying under the sun for three hours gave me a headache.  So I lay down right away when we got home after the game.  And yeah, I’ve got tanned arms, as if I really needed that.  And Ryan’s face is all red because he wouldn’t wear his hat.


Entry filed under: Life is a game, Reggie and his music, Winnipeg.

Summer lessons Family Game Night – Part 3

20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ipanema  |  August 22, 2006 at 1:37 am

    Wow! I can feel the happy exhaustion. That’s how we parents feel after hopping from one activity to another with our children. Tired but happy.

    I agree with jazz being played by ear. My children were in some kind of summer camps too. I love it when they come home – full of stories and always happy. The rant goes on for more than a week.

    Some camps my children attended are: Nature Camp, ICT Camp and LiveWire-organized by Brunei Shell.

    I find this a good way for children to socialize. I hope you enjoyed. 🙂

  • 2. ladybug  |  August 22, 2006 at 5:49 am

    Wow! You really had a busy weekend. But the important thing is you had “bonding time” with your kids. That’s what they’ll remember the most when they grow up.

  • 3. niceheart  |  August 22, 2006 at 11:32 pm

    Ipanema, yes, although it’s tiring, I always enjoy going to my kids’ activities. These camps enrich their experience and I agree that it’s a good way for them to socialize. Although sometimes they can be quite expensive too. 🙂

    Ladybug, I do hope that they remember this bonding time when they get older. 🙂

  • 4. ann  |  August 22, 2006 at 11:48 pm

    What a busy and fruitful week with the kids, happiness that money can’t buy.

  • 5. Major Tom  |  August 23, 2006 at 12:51 am

    Reggie should so happy to be in a jazz camp; I would have salivated for it….

    It’s true that in performing a jazz piece, it would be so undoable to play it by reading notes since the melody would be so dynamic…It got to be by ears, that way the music is played by heart.

  • 6. Toe  |  August 23, 2006 at 6:11 am

    Niceheart, Reggie is so lucky and it’s so wonderful that he wants to be a jazz musician! He must be very good and innately talented because he could play by ear and could improvise. I wish I could hear him. Heck! I wish I could have gone to that concert… I’m really interested in that!

  • 7. Phil  |  August 23, 2006 at 9:34 am

    I’m impressed your boy reminded you to take off your hat as a show of respect for the anthems, a good reflection on you actually… I don’t fault you at all for forgetting. I hate baseball games on TV when the camera does a close pan across the faces of the players during the playing of the anthem. Most of them are chewing gum, scratching, shifting from foot to foot, or just looking disinterested. It reminds me that professional athletes are spoiled kids, boors. A buddy of mine, Joe, grew up around major league baseball players and when I heard this I was intrigued. His dad was a famous pro pitcher and then a pro manager. I peppered Joe with questions about the Yankees and about many other players I’d seen on TV that he’d had casual conversations with. He told me, “Phil, pro baseball players are boring. You wouldn’t like many of them. All most of them know is the game. I’ve met more interesting and much nicer people in my 15 years in the Air Force than I’ve ever met in the lockerroom of Yankee Stadium.” Joe put a lot of things in perspective for me that day!

  • 8. Eric  |  August 23, 2006 at 5:33 pm

    What a fun-filled summer so far for you guys!

    Wow! Your Reggie is really having a wonderful time. Beautiful! Wish him the best. Bravo!

    Not often, but I used to go to Yankee Stadium and Shea for an afternoon of watching and eating hot dogs. Fun!

  • 9. niceheart  |  August 23, 2006 at 10:14 pm

    Indeed, Ann, experiences like these = priceless.

    Major Tom, this is the third summer that he’s attended these jazz camps. Au contraire, playing jazz is doable by reading notes. That’s how the kids started learning jazz. 🙂

    Toe, last year, Reggie improvised the piece he played at his flute recital. It’s just unfortunate that he wasn’t able to play at the recital this year because he prepared a piece that needs accompaniment by other instruments and the players were unavailable at the day of the recital.

  • 10. niceheart  |  August 23, 2006 at 10:24 pm

    Phil, yeah, what’s up with the chewing and spitting and scratching. I don’t watch much basebal but I find it annoying too. But I give them players the benefit of the doubt. Probably not all of them are what your buddy Joe described. 🙂

    Eric, we may not be able to afford to get away on vacations but I do think that we’re having fun by just doing these simple things here at home. Reggie really had a wonderful time that week and Ryan made sure that I bought hotdogs during the game. 🙂

  • 11. watson  |  August 23, 2006 at 11:29 pm

    Wow ok ah niceheart, you being able to spend time with your kids! And what fun!

  • 12. mmy-lei  |  August 24, 2006 at 12:28 am

    spending whole week with your kids and all out support on their activities really showed how you loved them.

  • 13. Eric  |  August 24, 2006 at 6:47 am

    With the rising cost of gas these days, who can afford to travel? I’m sure you have lots of activities within and around your city so, explore them. I used to do that a lot in NYC because I don’t particularly enjoy air travel anyway.

    Do you have free symphony orchestra concerts at the park, too? If so, arrange to see one and incorporate a picnic along with it! Have Reggie help you coordinate the plans for it since he’s the music artist in your family 🙂

  • 14. analyse  |  August 24, 2006 at 7:16 am

    sounds fun. the last time i saw philippine folklore presentation was 5 years ago during the wine harvest festival here in our region. and they won the crowd favorite award.

  • 15. niceheart  |  August 24, 2006 at 8:51 pm

    Watson, sinasamantala ko lang, while it’s still school vacation.

    Mmy-lei, it was just the weekend. And yeah, I support them with their activities. I enjoy them too, naman.

  • 16. niceheart  |  August 24, 2006 at 8:54 pm

    Eric, it’s not just the cost of gas. There’s 5 of us so it’s really hard to save up for any trip. Anyway, that’s what we do every year, is to explore the different happenings here in the city.

    There are also free concerts here and there and Reggie is always on the lookout for them. But he usually goes with his friends. My two younger ones are not interested unless it’s a school or camp thing and I do drag them out of the house to go watch their kuya. 🙂

  • 17. niceheart  |  August 24, 2006 at 8:57 pm

    Analyse, we’re quite lucky I guess to have an annual Folklorama here. Last spring, my two younger kids had a multicultural day at school and the Asian dance performed was the Tinikling, or bamboo dance, as they called it. It was the favourite among the students. 🙂

  • 18. haze  |  August 25, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    What a busy weekend huhh ! I love music and sports too! That’s great that you are exhausted with joy and pleasure being with your kids, that’s very essential! Your children are lucky to have you especially on these occassions! I’m sure they are proud to present our Philippine Cultural dances….iba talaga ang Pinoy!

    How I miss folk dances, tinikling, carinosa, and the likes. When I was a kid I was a dancing diva (ha ha ha) I love to choreograph (ewan ko kung papasa sa mga dance professional yung choreograph ko 😦 !

    I would love to see baseball one coz we do not have here in France ! Europeans are more on Football fever !

  • 19. niceheart  |  August 25, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    Haze, my kids did not dance the tinikling. There were other dancers who performed it at their school. 🙂

    When I was a kid, we also had Foundation Days at school and we would perform folkdances like the carinosa, itik-itik, etc.

  • 20. Lilliam Spagnoli  |  January 7, 2011 at 9:05 am

    I came to this publish from a link on my iPhone – not positive how I got right here but glad I did!


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