Concerts, workshops, film screenings, jam sessions, weekend market,
jazz-infused dance performances and more!

The West Kowloon Cultural District (the District) today announced the inaugural Freespace Jazz Fest – a new annual event providing a dynamic platform for Hongkongers and visitors to experience and be inspired by jazz music. This will run from 9 to 10 November 2019 in the indoor and outdoor performance venues at Freespace and in the Art Park. With an impressive lineup of jazz from Hong Kong and around the world, the music fest offers both ticketed and free programmes for visitors to enjoy.

The inaugural festival features international jazz luminaries including Grammy Award Winner Robert Glasper Trio, UK’s GoGo Penguin, Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra featuring Hubert Laws and House of Waters, as well as established and emerging talents from Hong Kong, including Eugene Pao, Ted Lo, Angelita Li, Alan Kwan and Tjoe Man-cheung. The festival will also stage special performances by Asian Collective, a new ensemble established by Freespace that marks a pioneering collaboration between five eminent jazz musicians from across Asia.

The two-day festival includes a wide range of activities covering Jazz for Kids, film screenings, meet the artists sessions, jazz workshops, jam sessions for professional musicians, jazz photography exhibition, and a weekend market offering a great mix of handicraft booths and art stalls. The diverse programme also features jazz-infused dance performances by Freespace programme partner Hong Kong Ballet with their popular The Great Gatsby set to a fantastic jazz score, and a series of exciting site-specific pop-ups along the waterfront promenade.

The festival offers a unique cultural experience presenting a strong mix of local and international talent. Through performances, workshops and educational initiatives, the festival delivers something for audiences of all ages and backgrounds and launches a premiere, new, multi-genre, multi-faceted experience for the appreciation of jazz.

Alison Friedman, Acting Executive Director, Performing Arts and Artistic Director, Performing Arts, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA), said, ‘Jazz is both local and global, the perfect music genre to launch Freespace’s flagship new annual programme. This year’s Freespace Jazz Fest showcases just how jazz matches Hong Kong’s identity – proudly rooted in local sounds and culture, while also embracing, incorporating and transforming global influences into something totally new. This is the power and majesty of jazz music. We are thrilled to feature local and international jazz greats and rising stars in our inaugural festival at Freespace, Hong Kong’s new centre of contemporary performance.’

‘Jazz is one of the richest and most diverse musical genres,’ said Kung Chi Shing, Artistic Associate (Music), Performing Arts, WKCDA. ‘Because it encompasses a broad spectrum of styles and musical languages it can be enjoyed and appreciated by audiences of different ages and tastes. Freespace Jazz Fest is more than a musical event. It also serves as the District's incubator, where musicians and composers can meet, inspire each other and create new compositions in a dynamic process of collaboration and exchange. We are thrilled that creative talent from across the world will be taking the stage at Freespace Jazz Fest, creating boundary-pushing collaborations and promoting bold new ways of seeing and experiencing jazz performance.’

Programme highlights

The Box
The Box stages headline international artists, including Grammy-Award-winning Robert Glasper Trio, UK’s GoGo Penguin, House of Waters, Israel’s Noa Drezner Flamenco Quartet, as well as favourite local stars Eugene Pao, Ted Lo, Angelita Li, Mo-Men-T x Wuji Ensemble, Alan Kwan x Mike Tseng and more.

The Great Lawn
The Great Lawn presents free performances by the legendary Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra featuring Hubert Laws, Takashi Hirayasu from Okinawa with his group of Taiwanese and Japanese jazz musicians, Senivoda from Melbourne, Outlet Drift from Taiwan and a selection of local jazz stars such as Patrick Lui Jazz Orchestra featuring Elisa Chan and Teriver Cheung & Ensemble Transience featuring Jan Curious.

Our programme partner A nice place to offers fun local artworks at the handicrafts market on the lawn.

Lau Bak Livehouse
Freespace’s bar café and performance space for music, Lau Bak Livehouse offers beer, wine, tapas and great jazz programmes that extend beyond music.

Jazz for Kids
An interactive concert that encourages children to accept their own emotions. During the workshop, jazz musicians will tell the story of the character Siu Kwai using familiar songs, exploring the rich emotional world of Siu Kwai through jazz music. The programme welcomes kids aged three to twelve to join with parents.

Performances by Hong Kong Ballet
Dancers from Freespace programme partner Hong Kong Ballet will bring The Great Gatsby, a jazz-infused performance to the waterfront promenade outdoor stage and other site-specific works popping up in surprise locations.

For more details about the Freespace Jazz Fest, please visit www.westkowloon.hk/jazzfest to see the full programme and updated ticketing information.

Remarks

About Freespace
Freespace is Hong Kong’s new centre for contemporary performance in the heart of the Art Park in the West Kowloon Cultural District, presenting multi-genre performances and events. It produces boundary-pushing collaborations and promotes new ways of seeing and experiencing performance. Freespace houses The Box, one of the largest black box theatres in Hong Kong, a flexible space for cutting-edge performances. Two multi-purpose spaces - The Room and The Studio - are designed to be used for creative exchange and artistic collaborations. Lau Bak Livehouse is an intimate bar café presenting live music from Hong Kong and around the world. 

About the Art Park
The Art Park is the green heart of the West Kowloon Cultural District. With a rich variety of trees and green planting as well as open lawn spaces, it provides a vibrant venue for open-air performances, art exhibitions and other cultural events. The Art Park also features a growing range of facilities, including the waterfront promenade, harbour-side restaurants and cafes for leisure and relaxation. 

About the West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong on forty hectares of reclaimed land located alongside Victoria Harbour. With a varied mix of theatres, performance spaces and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances and cultural events, providing twenty-three hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.