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‘Jazz Park’ ends performance after 21-year operation

‘Jazz Park’ ends performance after 21-year operation

Posted November. 29, 2023 08:16,   

Updated November. 29, 2023 08:16


“It takes more than 15 million won to host a performance. But I just continued, thanks to people who held my hand and thanked me for the performance. It’s been 21 years,” said Kim Myo-hwan (age 63), business representative of the Culture Marketing Group, who has been holding the Jazz Park performance at the Textile Center in Gangnam-gu, Seoul every Tuesday since 2002. He admits it hasn’t been easy at all. Culture Marketing Group, a consulting agency that advises cultural events, had hosted the event for free for two years, thanks to sponsorship by the Jeong Hun Foundation. Afterward, it charged only 1,000 won per viewer. They have hosted 227 performances viewed by more than 120,000 people. Unfortunately, they will close their performance as of December 12 and 13 as their tenant agreement with the Textile Center was not renewed.

It started with Kim’s encounter with the documentary “Buena Vista Social Club (2001),” depicting a Cuban musician's story. “It made me think of musicians that first started Korean jazz music at U.S. army bases in Korea,” Kim said. “I wanted to create a Korean version of the Buena Vista Social Club.” Young musicians have joined the event since 2005. Lim Hee-sook, Jeon Je-deok, Malo, Ung-san, and many other musicians performed at Jazz Park.

Five hundred seats were sold out in just 10 minutes, and sometimes people sat on the steps to view the performance. Viewers ranged from teens to 80s. “It was very rewarding to see people across all generations come together to enjoy jazz,” said Kim.

Around 60 artists, including Jazz Park Big Band and guitarist Charlie Jeong, will perform at the last performance. “I wish I could have promoted the outstanding pianists, saxophonists, and other musicians that performed here more. They are truly world-class performers,” Kim said. “I would like to share all my cultural contents with any business interested in recent (cultural sponsorship) activities.”