Perhaps, if one doesn’t know anything about jazz music, the title of this article will keep you thinking what does it mean or will perhaps Google it on the web. Moreover, since we are here in the Philippines, one might be thinking about the comedy king of the Philippine Entertainment.
But actually, it is not the comedy king actor Dolphy that is been channeled rather it is one of the jazz genius in the world that is being channeled by a true Filipino jazz saxophonist through his own jazz musical style; that is the jazz genius Eric Dolphy and Eric Dolphy jazz music is somewhat channeled back by the Filipino-American jazz saxophonist – Jon Irabagon. In other words, Jon Irabagon sounds like Eric Dolphy.
Jon Irabagon is a Filipino-American accomplished jazz artist popularly known internationally but not in the Philippines though he has a Filipino blood. His popularity and established name on music industry is not brought by Charice-style success, rather his name on the jazz music is indeed his own hard work and toiling through the years. For Jon Irabagon is fully aware that after he gained his jazz diploma then that among a million saxophone players in New York, how can he stand out and shine.
“There are a million saxophone players in New York. How can I differentiate myself from other 999.999?”
His secret is that according to him is to continue what one want to do and stop pleasing what others want to you and from you, for there will be people out there that will listen or pay attention to what you are doing. In case of him, his style of jazz music. “Don’t change what you play in order to fulfill what someone else thinks you should play. If you pursue your own thing, as long as you’ve worked hard at it, you can have an audience.”
Actually, Jon Irabagon was here in Manila Philippines earlier this year at Philippine International Jazzfest last February in Rockwell Tent, The Power Plant Mall, Makati City; to give Filipinos here in the Philippine a taste of his own jazz. And indeed the Filipinos jazz aficionados were swayed in wow on his jazz music.
He has actually four jazz albums which have no local music distributors in the Philippines. His four jazz albums are :
(1)Jon Irabagon, “Outright!” (Innova) 2007
(2) Jon Irabagon with Mike Pride, “I Don’t Hear Nothin’But The Blues” (Loyal Label) 2009
(3) Jon Irabagon “The Observer “ (Concord)2009 – this is his breakthrough album that gaves him a name on jazz music industry; a prize album for winning the Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition with major jazz label Concord and with legendary producer Rudy Van Gelder. Rudy Van Gelder is the man behind the successful jazz artist including Eric Dolphy.
(4) Jon Irabagon,”Foxy”(Hot Cup) 2010