MANILA, Philippines – Baihana, led by Krina Cayabyab, the daughter of acclaimed composer Ryan Cayabyab, was named Best Jazz Band at the first Boy Katindig Jazz Competition held at the Hard Rock Café in Makati on Saturday night.
Baihana, which is fronted by three female vocalists – Cayabyab, Anna Achacoso-Graham and Melinda Torre – and backed by Tim Cada on guitar; Adriel Bote on keyboard, Joshua Royeca on bass and Karmina Santiago on drums, bested seven other bands to win the top prize in the first-ever jazz tilt spearheaded by jazz pianist and composer Boy Katindig.
While the top award doesn’t come with any cash prize, Katindig said Baihana will join him at the World Youth Jazz Festival in Malaysia next year.
Saying “the voice is also an instrument,” Katindig also gave a surprised Cayabyab the award for Best Instrumentalist over such musicians as New York-based drummer Dave Berk of Connect 4, vibraphone player Jaimar Palispis and flutist Angelo Mateo of Camerata Jazz and bassist JC Magsalin of JC3.
The other award of the evening, Best Jazz Composition, went to the song “Puso’t Pag-ibig” composed by Monet Silvestre of DaMoRe Trio.
Silvestre, more known to viewers as vocal coach “Teacher Monet” in ABS-CBN’s reality talent search “Pinoy Dream Academy, described his composition as a song that could be used in old LVN and Sampaguita movies of the ‘50s.
“This is just going to make it sweeter. My first award and this couldn’t come at a better time,” said Silvestre, who started his career as a member of the vocal group Tux and the keyboardist of the defunct band DV8.
Saturday’s jazz contest was a gathering of the top names in the local jazz scene, with veteran radio DJ Brother Wayne as the evening’s host.
Apart from Katindig, the judges included composer Jun Latonio, record producer Willy Villar of A&W Records, music impresario Atek Jacinto, jazz violinist John Lesaca, singer Rico J. Puno, and Serafin Pua, the owner of the famed jazz bar Birds of the Same Feather.
The eight bands had to perform an original composition, as well as their interpretation of a Boy Katindig song.
The evening had several highlights such as Palispis and Mateo trading solos in the intricate original jazz instrumental “Invetiones,” and the cool jazz sound of Magsalin’s “A Full Life,” with his bass taking on the melody line.
Bleached blonde Tricia Garcia gave the evening a touch of the blues with the original song “Fat Lady,” while Chique Arcilla and her band ButterJam opted for a light Latin vibe.
Baihana’s synchronized vocal scats and precise blends on “Talk to Me” were reminiscent of the jazz fusion sound of the ‘80s group Seawind – a perfect match to Katindig’s brand of smooth jazz.
The evening also featured Katindig performing with the top musicians from the competing bands in a medley of the jazz legend’s biggest hits – “Away From You” for Jennifer Ramos, “Capture the Changes” for Jacqui Magno and “I Will Always Stay This Way in Love With You” for Baron Barbers.