One Nation Under a Groove
Bangkok-based music resource Hitman Jazz feeds Thailand’s hunger for jazz with a high-fidelity treasure trove, live concerts, and even jazz educational events
Thailand’s legions of jazz fans are being taken to new frontiers of musical appreciation by home-grown Hitman Jazz and its portfolio of extraordinary high-quality music services. From providing the latest innovative sounds by Thai and international artists via quality downloads on iTunes and 24-Bit Studio Master quality CDs, to staging storming jazz festivals around the country, this upmarket, switched-on venture has all its musical bases covered. It was founded in 2005 by music industry veteran Vichart Jirathiyut – former managing director of EMI (Thailand) Ltd. – with a bold vision of tapping into the passion of Thailand’s jazz fans with high-quality music content to expand the younger generation’s enthusiasm for top-notch jazz. Since then, the Hitman Jazz label has assembled an impressive catalogue of hard-to find albums from more than a dozen specialist labels in Europe and elsewhere around the world, as well as albums by leading Thai jazz artists.
Fans can buy the albums through the Hitman Jazz online web store, or download them on iTunes. The actual CDs can be bought at Hitman Jazz outlets in prime outlets across Bangkok – such as B2S, Nai In Book Store and Boomerang. Leading international jazz artists who are now Hitman Jazz best-sellers include Austrian singer Simone Kopmajer, Danish saxophonist Mads Mathias, New York pianist John di Martino and Danish singer Malene Mortensen – and they’re joined on the list by Thailand’s very own Funktion band. These eclectic sounds can also be enjoyed in many of the capital’s premium coffee shops were Hitman Jazz has a presence. They can even be supplied as in-house entertainment for businesses with an eye for groovy ambience. On the live circuit, Hitman Jazz has supplied soughtafter artists to the Bangkok Jazz Festival and Chiang Mai Jazz Festival ; and organised Jazz Up Bangkok and the recent Hua Hin International Jazz Festival 2017 . They also organised the acclaimed concert series, Jazz in the Theatre, at Bangkok’s luxury Aksra Theatre.
The Hitman Jazz series of educational programmes – some held in tandem with jazz concerts and festivals with international musicians helming music workshops for local Thai students and musicians – has proved a potent tool in furthering enthusiasm and demand for quality jazz. Hitman Jazz managing director Vichart Jirathiyut: Our belief in good music, and our appreciation of artists’ talents, are what drives and motivates us. Thailand’s mainstream music industry may seem to be slowing down, but we believe the demand for quality jazz music is noticeably growing. We realised that it’s not easy to market niche music in a traditional media world, but we have faith in our music, our artists – and more importantly, faith in our audiences who have contributed so greatly to our success. We’ve witnessed the increase of sophisticated and educated audiences in Thailand at the larger alternative music events, and the growing number of high- quality music schools nationwide. This underlines our strong belief that there is an ever-increasing number of young Thai audiences who still look for good music. The new generation of jazz artists we present through our records and concerts, has brought forward a new sophisticated and refreshing sound, different from standard jazz styles – a new experience of jazz.
Hitman Jazz was created to break down barriers between jazz and the young generation of listeners, so that they can re-think jazz as accessible and enjoyable music. Stay tuned for more jazz, more exceptional music events and workshops – for a new generation of music lovers!