Jazz and Cultural Performances and a Baseball Game
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.