KJ, A New Collaboration Band Featuring Kuya Kurt and Jyel

Illustration by: singer-songwriter Jong Sumangil

A new collaborative project has emerged in the independent/underground scene here in Manila that features two of the most prominent advocates of independent music, Kuya Kurt (Sigwada Experiment) and Jyel (Sensitivo).

Simply called as KJ, they started out with fun jams during sets of each group and in drinking sessions and after those sessions, they’re now a band!

The group is fronted by the two and features a cast of other musicians from the scene – Chitols Asprec (Sigwada Experiment) on bass, Glenn Mapue (Mushroom and Mint) on guitars, yours truly also on guitars and Rod Jaropay (Mushroom) on drums. The band is a mix of Sensitivo, Sigwada Experiment and Mushroom. Check out their music as well.

Lots of “wasakenrol” will be heard and witnessed definitely and they’re set to deliver their brand of music to the public and bring the house down.

The band plays the songs impromptu and unrehearsed since each member have their own busy schedules so what you hear/see is what you get.

Here’s the debut performance of the group at Conspiracy Garden Cafe, an original song titled “Rakrakan sa Langit” (Rock n’Roll in Heaven).

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The Unknown Paragraphs with Melodies EP Launch

Guitar virtuoso, singer and songwriter Glenn Mapue has launched his EP ‘The Unknown Paragraphs with Melodies’ on April 10 at Autonomy and it was a success.

The event showcased the wide musicality of Mapue as he brought his bands that played different genre. He opened up the night playing with his group featuring a female singer rocking out the evening and there’s his trio group named Bluestrip for a more strip down music, his other band Mint, which I also played guitar, for Beatle-influenced songs and Mushroom, the funky guitar driven-band that reminded me of Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Other performers on the night were people at Songwriter’s Philippines that include Kuya Kurt, Jyel Tagbo, Lester Namocatcat, Pikoy, Jeffrey Yumol, Leslie Navarro, Jong Sumangil, Bryan Amparo, Jaymark Reynon, Dence Unwired and Jeczerius, alternative band Flytrap, Sending Raven and Quatro.

Here are some vids from the event.

event music Songwriters Philippines

Songwriters Philippines

Started in 2008 by former Katha members upon its demise, Songwriters Philippines was formed to help all the amateur songwriters to hone their skills and to learn the know hows through its workshops being conducted by professional songwriters. In showcasing their talents, the group has organized an event called Songwriters Night, first held at 9Mile Bar, with the songwriters performing their own works while others who can’t have brought in interpreters to perform their songs.

From then on, Songwriters Night got a home in Conspiracy Cafe. The event is held every third Monday of the month, a laid back acoustical jam session set-up featuring talented amateur singer/songwriters. Some well renowned artists from other parts of the country had dropped by and had performed there also. With its kind of setting, it’s like an MTV Unplugged meets VH1 Storytellers kind of thing, with performers doing their originals in acoustic format and telling the audiences what inspired them to write that song and what it’s all about.

Photos by Aba Lluch Dalena, Mency Atienza, Kuya Kurt, Marvin Bea, Doni Brooks Jr.

Some of the performances caught at TEN02

Photos by Allen Alesna, Mark Dy, Paolo Vivas

At present, aside from its regular schedules at Conspiracy Cafe, Songwriters Night has gone Tuesdays and also at the last Monday of the Month, this time at Mag:net Katipunan.

Photos by Andrew Harder, Aba Lluch dalena, Ansyl Cadag

The event is open to all performing and non-performing songwriters. Log on to for more info.