Saturday June 1st I attended the “ Acoustic Neighborhood Jamboree.” This is a free monthly event, hosted at the Camarata Studio in Haebangchon, just a 5 minute walk from USAG Yongsan, for acoustic music lovers of all kinds, to come together and celebrate some true talent. The night was filled with five great local acts ranging from country to flamenco music.
Jennifer Waescher began hosting this event last November. “I started these events so really talented musicians can be appreciated and truly listened to outside of the smoky rowdy bar scene,” states Waescher. Waescher originally came to Seoul six years ago, giving up an acting career to teach English and experience travel and living abroad. Once here, she was inspired to pursue music and writing. Currently she is devoting all of her time to these passions. Most recently she released her first album entitled “Beyond These Words.”
Waescher is truly passionate about music and allowing everyone to experience it. “This event is always free. I never want anyone to be turned away. I just want foreigners and Koreans alike to come here and enjoy great music of all kinds.” Typical shows usually consist of five acts hand picked by Waescher. Each set is about 20 minutes long.
Saturday’s performance began with an American duo playing country and folk music. Nick Lacovino is one of the guitarist and singers that make up this team. He came to Korea 10 years ago and has lived here since, teaching English. Josh, the teams other guitarist, is a voice actor who has lived in Korea for 18 years. They enjoy playing cover music,such as this, at events throughout Seoul. “This is a great event and by far our biggest crowd and loudest applause we’ve received,” Lacovino tells his fans during his performance.
The band unofficially headlining the night is called Northern Pinnacle. It consists of a male and female vocalist playing the bass and guitar. The talented duo are both still in high school but write all of their own music and play indie, folk and light-alternative. George Dornbach and Maddie Thies both grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but did not meet until they moved across the world and connected through their love for music in Seoul. “This morning I was taking the SAT’S,” Dornbach laughs, “so this evening has been way more exciting performing for this crowd!”
Jennifer Waescher and her band, featuring folk and alternative music, also played that night. Following her was an extremely talented flamenco guitarist named Stan Olmsted. The night ended with a Canadian duo called 3D Trees who write and perform their own alternative music.
The venue for this event is held at Camarata Music Company. This is a non-profit organization that allows Korean and foreigners to perform classical music together, in English. CMC presents concerts and musicals throughout the year in Seoul. They also have an outreach program that focuses on bringing music to orphans in Seoul. Most recently they began hosting events such as Waescher’s Acoustic Neighborhood Jamboree. A small cash bar was set up during the event. All proceeds and donations collected that night goes to CMC and their outreach program. Who doesn’t like to listen to talented musicians and drink for a good cause?
So if you are looking to enjoy some great international talent in Seoul be sure to check out the Acoustic Neighborhood Jamboree. The event begins at 8:00 pm and is held the last Saturday of each month. (With an the exception of July) If you are interested in attending you can visit Jennifer Waescher’s facebook page where she posts information about performers at each event.
To get to the CMC Studio, go to Noksapyong Subway Station, exit 2. Walk straight approximately 300 meters to the traffic light, and veer left to Haebangcheon. Walk about 400 meters (about 5 minutes), and the “Camarata Music Company Studio” (look for the white sign will be on your left, in the same building as CVC/CU Convenience store (formerly Family Mart). Jacoby Burger is directly across the street.