May 1, 14, 29
There are two public holidays in Thailand in May, starting with Labour Day (also known as May Day) on the first of the month. It’s a public holiday to commemorate the workers of the world, celebrated by giving everyone the day off. The next public holiday is on May 29th with the celebration of Visakha Bucha—which commemorates the three major events in the life of Buddha: his birth, his enlightenment, and his death. May is also the time of the annual Royal Ploughing Festival, or ‘Farmer’s Day’, celebrated on May 14th, which is an ancient royal rite to mark the traditional beginning of the rice growing season (however, it’s a government holiday only).
The celebration known as Cinco de Mayo is a raucous annual tradition that commemorates Mexico’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862—and it’s reason enough to party like mad! This year, the team at Mexicano restaurant are putting on a fabulous fiesta, with a live Latino band and DJ to keep the salsa beats going, plus amazing food prepared by Chef Carlos Bravo and plenty of beverage specials on margaritas, sangria, mojitos, and local beers! The party runs from 8pm
till late, in the grand Ballroom II of the Rembrandt Hotel (19, Sukhumvit Soi 18). For more info, or to book a table, call 02 261 7100.
May’s Hottest Tickets
English-born, singer-songwriter Jake Bugg is set to perform an exclusive and intimate acoustic concert this month at the Scala Cinema (Rama I Rd), the city’s iconic historic movie theatre at Siam Square. Having first burst onto the music scene as a 17-year-old prodigy in 2011, this 24-year-old talent now has four highly-acclaimed albums to his name. Tickets for the show are priced at B2,600.
Directed by Jaime Zúñiga and starring James Laver, the “one woman” play I Am My Own Wife is based on the captivating true life story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf who, living as a transvestite, survived two of the most repressive regimes of the 20th century—the Nazis and the East German Communists. The production opens on Friday May 4th and will run every Friday and Saturday evening throughout this month at Peel The Limelight (2, Sukhumvit Soi 23). Tickets are B700 (students B500) and all shows start at 8pm.
As part of his massive 2018 World Tour, UK superstar singer and actor Harry Styles—a former member of the boy band One Direction—will grace the stage at Impact Arena (Muang Thong Thani) for one night only. Tickets to see this chart-topping charmer range in price from B2,040 to B5,040, while special VIP packages range in price from B10,540 to B18,040. Showtime is 8:30pm.
The vibe will definitely be “old school” when legendary American hip-hop artist Ja Rule touches down in Bangkok for an intimate gig at Sugar Club (37, Sukhumvit Soi 11). Born in Hollis, Queens, the rapper made his debut in 1999 with the single “Holla Holla”, and went on to release many best-selling albums, collaborating over time with the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Ashanti, and R. Kelly. Tickets for this 20+ event are just B875, and will no doubt sell out fast!
This month, the ‘Singha Light Live Series’ presents Rhye, performing at Voice Space (BBD Building, Viphavdi Rd). The group originally consisted of just Canadian electronic musician Milosh (pictured), alongside Danish instrumentalist Robin Hannibal, and their debut album, Woman—released in 2013—caught the attention of influential music critics. Now a full-fledged band, the group combines heartbreaking vocals with a mosaic of emotive piano keys, physical percussion, and buzzing, atmospheric analog synths. Tickets at the door are priced at B2,000 and the gate opens at 7pm.
Bangkok Arts & Music Month
May 6, 15, 20
Local promoters Medium Rare, Moonbeats Asia, Live Events Group, and Symmetry Entertainment are the forces behind the Bangkok Arts & Music Month (BAMM), which consists of a series of indie rock concerts taking place at different venues across the city. The festival got underway in mid-April, but it continues on into May with three great gigs, the first of which welcomes French instrumentalist/singer FKJ who performs on the 6th at Moonstar Studio (Ladprao Soi 80). Then, on the 15th, celebrated American indie-folk singer-songwriter Samuel Ervin Beam—better known by his stage and recording name Iron & Wine—takes over the stage at Moonstar Studio. Tickets for both shows start at B1,790. The venue for the third gig, on May 20th, is the 5th floor Helix Garden at EmQuartier, and the band is Texas three-piece rockers Khruangbin. The band’s Thai name reflects their sound, which blends 70s era Thai funk, psychedelia, and surf rock. This not-to-be-missed show begins at 9pm, and tickets start at B990.
French Cultural Festival
Four fiesty French a cappella vocal musicians—known individually as Beatness, Rythmind, Wawad and MB14—come together this month to perform as Berywam, at the Alliance Française Bangkok (179 Wireless Rd). This award-winning combo produce sounds with their voices simultaneously, creating a vivid impression of beatbox-style polyphony. The 7pm concert is presented as part of the ongoing La Fête French Cultural Expo, and tickets are B250 (B150 for students and Alliance Française members). In addition, Berywam will also be hosting a 2pm workshop at the Alliance Française on Sunday May 6th. For more details about this month’s La Fête programming, see our special feature on pg. 72.
This year’s Hua Hin International Jazz Festival, presented by Hitman Company Ltd. in collaboration with Hua Hin Municipality and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), will be held at Hua Hin beach. With the rhythm of the waves adding to the sounds of world-class jazz artists, this two-day free festival will delight music fans of all ages. Artists scheduled to perform include: French vocalist Nina Van Horn; American jazz pianist John di Martino; Brazil’s Ricardo Vogt and Veronica Nunes; Simone Kopmajer from Austria; Shakatak from the UK; Dimension from Japan; and local favourites Koh Saxman & The Sound of Siam. In addition to the main stage there will also be Open Stage for local artists, and a special jazz workshop on May 19th at the Beer House pub at the Hilton Hua Hin hotel. For full details about this year’s line-up check the official website at: www.huahininterjazz.com.
The Music Hall at Chulalongkorn University (254 Phayathai Rd) hosts a very special recital concert by internationally acclaimed violinist Davide Alogna, accompanied by pianist Leonora Armellini. Start time is 7pm and admission is free.
Jazz fans have two chances to catch T-Riot, an energetic rock-solid groove trio featuring two members from Berardi Jazz Connection—drummer Francesco Lomagistro and bassist Camillo Pace—alongside pianist Pietro Vincenti from Quintetto X. The band performs first at The Music Hall at Chulalongkorn University (254 Phayathai Rd) on May 24th at 7pm (admission is free), followed by an 8:30pm gig on May 25th at the Bamboo Bar at the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok hotel (48 Oriental Ave), as part of the ‘In the Framework of Italian Jazz Stars’ series.
The talented Patrizia Salvatori and the E.sperimenti GDO Dance Company present an evening of modern dance with a piece entitled Attacchi di Pane, performed at the Small Hall of the Thailand Cultural Centre (14 Thanon Walthana Tham). Using “bread” as a metaphorical main character, this show brings to the stage an ancient theme, but one that is very current—mankind’s hunger for a place in society. Showtime is 7pm and admission is free.
For more about upcoming Italian Festival in Thailand 2018 events visit facebook.com/italianfestivalthailand