RIP Chris Zamora

Another sad news surrounded the Pinoy musicians’ circle as another jazz great, Chris Zamora passed away this month of December. May your soul rest in peace.


Though I didn’t know him personally, I only got the news from my FB news feed.. I’m deeply honored to be added by one of the finest musicians around on his FB contacts so learning about his sudden departure saddened me. As my tribute to the senyor guitarist, here’s a vid clip of his band via nedbarin’s channel on Youtube which I saw.

Dennis Chambers Jeff Berlin Scott Henderson

Scott Henderson, Jeff Berlin And Dennis Chambers Jazzin’ Up Manila

October 15, 2011, Manila was given a treat with the remarkable performances by three of the world’s renowned and respected musicians namely Scott Henderson on guitar, Jeff Berlin on bass and Dennis Chambers on drums. Held at the Manila Hotel Tent City, the place got filled by jazz afficionados, Pinoy musicians and music fans in general. The show was oraganized by P.I. Jazzfest Foundation and Manila Hotel which was a prelude to a jazz fest and was also as a tribute to the late great Pinoy Jazz guitarist, senyor Edgar “Koyang” Avenir who died recently.


Kickin’ off the event were performances by different artists of different genres that include The Jazz Fusion Project, independent progressive group Fuseboxx, Absolute Zero which featured Pinoy jazz guitarist Johnny Alegre, the Bleu Rascals and 11-year-old phenom Luis Galang who shredded with his mini-sized Ibanez electric guitar that wowed the crowd.



Absolute Zero

11 Year Old Phenom Kid Luis Galang Shreds

Luis Galang and his band



Just before the big three hit onstage inside the venue, Blues Bad Boy Joniver Robles opened up the night singing classic blues songs with his Takamine acoustic guitar. He did a splendid acoustic version of Over the Rainbow which according to him was a tribute to Koyang. The latter song was said to be one of the late musician’s favorite. Watch Koyang’s performance of Over the Rainbow here.



After Joniver, came the main event. Scott Henderson, Jeff Berlin And Dennis Chambers entered and everyone were applauding, excited to see what these three have in store. Last time’s show by Henderson was a blast and this time, it was even bigger. The trio did songs from their albums and the audience got awed with their great execution. Berlin’s basslines were magnificent, Chambers drum parts were jaw dropping and Henderson’s tone, using Orange cabinets and a Suhr amp, a Suhr stratocaster and a number of pedals, was fabulous.


It was a classic show that jazzed up the evening. The weather was absolutely great, Koyang’s presence was certainly there.


Scott Henderson Guitar TuningScott Henderson, Dennis Chambers, Jeff Berlin onstageScott Henderson, Dennis Chambers and Jeff Berlin performFront-row Audience PhotoshootScott Henderson, Dennis Chambers, Jeff BerlinScott Henderson on guitarScott Henderson on Guitar SoloScott Henderson Solo Up-CloseScott Henderson's AmpScott Henderson Suhr Stratocaster GuitarScott Henderson Guitar RigScott Henderson Suhr Stratocaster Guitar


Edgar “Koyang” Avenir

R.I.P. To Filipino Jazz Guitarist Extraordinaire Edgar “Koyang” Avenir

Sad news to the Filipino jazz community and inside the music circle as Filipino jazz guitarist and session player extraordinaire Edgar Avenir died of pneumonia which arises to lung cancer. He was 61.


Senyor Edgar "Koyang" Avenir on guitar

Edgar Avenir was one of the great musicians in the land who could play any type of genre – be it kundiman, classical, jazz, blues or OPM. Known as Koyang to his peers, Sir Avenir played with other renowned local artists like the APO Hiking Society in the 90s and even played at the North Sea Jazz Festival with fellow Pinoy jazz artists. Koyang was one of the senyors, a term coined to musicians who are true masters of their craft and had been in the industry for a long time. Though he may not be popular in most audiences, he was highly regarded as an excellent musician inside the music circle. His works with jazz artist Mishka Adams showed his prowess in arranging songs.


Koyang was one of the local guitarists that I idolized. The first time I heard of Mishka Adams, I was completely awed with the guitar arrangements and wondered who did those songs, and so I bought her album God Bless The Child which was under Candid Records, the same label that brought jazz artist Jamie Cullum. I found out that one of her guitarists on the album was Koyang, the others were senyors Noli and Spy and Kalayo guitarist Sammy Asuncion. I haven’t heard of the former that time and later on when I got into playing in groups too, I figured out that this guy was a master! Talk about top guitar players in the land and his name would be on each of the lists of renowned session players in the country. It’s been my dream to jam along with great players like senyor Koyang, unfortunately I didn’t, so maybe on the other side, let’s have that great gig in the sky.


Back then, I would watch Mishka Adam’s gigs to see this guy play the instrument. He was so good that when I got back home coming from their gig, I would pick up my guitar and imitate his stuffs. Of course I suck at it ’cause I’m not as good as this guy. He was one of my influences when it comes to Pinoy jazz and it was just surreal when I had Mishka’s cd signed by her and by senyor. Remembered his reaction when I let him autographed the cd, he was completely surprised as if he was not worthy to do so. It was like, hey kid I’m not the star here, I’m just the guitar player. But being appreciative to one’s work, I’ve got to. It was one of things I do whenever I buy someone’s album, to have all or at least some of the musicians involved in its creation to sign on the cd.


One of the humble guys I’ve seen in the music industry. Truly a class act.


He will be sorely missed.



Fourplay Jazz Quartet In Manila

Legendary jazz quartet Fourplay did a show in Manila last February at the Rockwell Tent gracing the evening for the ABS-CBN Jazz Night, the highlight of the Philippine International Jazz and Arts Festival. The band, featuring Bob James on keyboards, Nathan East on bass, Harvey Mason on drums and Chuck Loeb on guitar, did a splendid performance in front of awed jazz fanatics, grooving up the night with those cool melodic lines and tasteful solos.


Soulful Mishka Adams and saxophonist Jon Irabagon warmed up the evening with a terrific performance.