Saxophone Obsession with Narisa
Move over Vanessa Mae
Text by Marion Vogt Photos by Michael Vogt
The Saxophone Obsession concert at the Somsavali
Auditorium at Payap University was just as hip and cool as it was
sophisticated. 19-year-old musician Narisa stepped forward and dazzled a
crowd of several hundred with her warm, lyrical saxophone solos.
Narisa, a Chiang Mai girl and a gifted saxophonist
started playing in a marching band in Grade 4 and never stopped, nor does
she have the intention to stop. If talent, intelligence and sheer, plain,
old-fashioned determination are prerequisites for success, Narisa is the
name jazz and Latin-music fans and entertainers are sure to be hearing in
We asked Narisa why a saxophone, since some less
enlightened people still see this as a man’s instrument? She replied,
“If I’m playing with musicians, they’re musicians and that’s it.
Gender has absolutely nothing to do with it. It really irks me when people
single me out just because I’m a girl. But people like P Koh (Mr. Saxman)
have hugely inspired me and I am thankful for all his and other musician’s
valuable suggestions and advice they have given me.”
Narisa started the concert with a song from Nat King
Cole, followed by ‘Wave’, a Bossanova from composer Antonio Carlos Jobim,
and ‘Wendy’, her favorite composition from Paul Desmond, which she
claimed to have fallen instantly in love with when she first heard it
performed by Frank Sinatra.
By that time it was clear that this concert was going to
be an enormous success. Evergreens were played in jazz styles and a duet
harmony with Jo, a very talented trombone player held everybody’s
Apipol Sawangwong (singer at Good View Restaurant, Chiang
Mai) came on stage with Narisa to do the old Billy Joel hit ‘Just the way
you are’. When Apipol and the orchestra performed ‘Can’t take my eyes
off you’, Narisa changed from her stylish evening dress into a hip Vanessa
Mae style leather mini skirt and rejoined the band.
Her selection of songs was very well balanced. The famous
‘To be No. 1’ pop song was a duet between her and the very sweet, funny,
young, but nevertheless gifted singer Chalongrath Nopwichai, and can only be
described as a ‘showstopper’. A song composed by H.M. King Bhumibol
Adulyadej the Great brought the violinists on stage, and the stage was a
collection of young, determined, fun loving professional musicians.
It was a rare performance from this young woman who moved
on stage, talking to the audience, switching from Thai to English and back
to Thai, and it was almost unbelievable that this is just a 19-year-old
The proceeds from the concert were donated to the Chiang
Mai Public Health office anti-drug project, because Narisa wants to
contribute to what she sees as the biggest problem in teenagers’ lives,
not only in Thailand but all over the world. Chiang Mai Vice Governor Prinya
Panthong received the contribution and expressed how proud Chiang Mai can be
to have girls like Narisa representing local youth.
screen made sure everyone in the audience caught all the action.
Tirapat interviews Narisa on stage.
backdrop, the cameras, the lighting - it was a professional performance.
not always serious business. Rapper Chalongrath Nopwichai and Narisa showed
that music and fun belong together.
Boy, Aniruth Wongchingchai, the arranger and producer on the piano with all
22 members and musicians on stage.
Mai Vice Governor Prinya Panthong said how proud Chiang Mai is of Narisa.
(From L) Prinya Panthong, Narisa, her father Pongsak C. Watananun MD of
Jaliang Collection and Dr. Boonthong Poocharoen, President Payap University
Sawangwong (singer at ‘Good View Restaurant’, Chiang Mai) accompanied
with fun-rapper, Chalongrath Nopwichai, with the guys on percussion dancing
in the background.
introduced and thanked all the musicians that appeared with her during the
between saxophones, played with Jo, a very talented, self-confident
Chiang Mai hosted National Youth Day activities for the Northern
Region this year
National Youth Day falls on September 20 every year, and
commemorates the birthdays of King Rama V and King Rama VIII, both of whom
ascended to the throne while quite young, leading to the pronouncement of
National Youth Day being around this date.
Sateerasinlapin (2nd left), represented the Ministry of Social Development
and Human Securities.
This year’s activities were set up with cooperation
from the government and private sections on September 17-18, commencing with
a seminar titled, “The ways of development for northern youth” at which
140 youths from the northern provinces attended. The result of this seminar
was presented the next day following the grand opening ceremony held at
Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel.
swearing in ceremony.
A grand parade of young people from 22 schools started
from Three Kings Monument to Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel. Supachai
Sateerasinlapin, representing the Ministry of Social Development and Human
Securities, delivered the opening address and cut the ribbon to mark the
commencement of the activities.
The motto of this year’s National Youth Day was “Ruam
Rang Khang Khun Chuai Kan Pattana Fai Ha Santi” which means helping each
other in development and searching for peace.
made decorations, one of the many youth activities.
Dancing”, one of the very impressive local Lanna dancing styles.
dancing from the representative youths.
beautiful young ladies bring in the celebratory bowls.
500-year-old Buddha head found at Wieng Kum Kam
The archeology team from the Office of 8th Fine Arts,
Chiang Mai, discovered buried treasure at the Wieng Kum Kam ancient city
site. After digging the grounds of a deserted temple there, they found the
hidden head of a Buddha image done in Lanna style. As a bonus, a stolen
Buddha image was also found and returned to Chiang Mai following a police
investigation and follow-up.
old deserted temple inside Wieng Kum Kam ancient town.
The team found the bronze head of a Buddha image with
gold-plating in Lanna design, measuring 27.3 cm in diameter buried under the
temple grounds of Wat Phan Lao in the archeological dig site of Wieng Kum
Kam. It was estimated that the bronze head was 500 years old.
Sahaswat Naenna, the director of the 8th Fine Arts
Office, said evidence of a Mondop (a structure topped with an artistic
spire) in a complete condition was also found buried there. The site has
been placed under police guard.
Chiang Mai MP Yaowapa Wongsawas said she would attempt to
obtain some budget in the 2004 fiscal year to convert an information center
into a museum to collect all found ancient objects.
still found in good condition at the ancient remains.
Wieng Kum Kam renovation project is underway.
Telecommunication of Thailand educates Tambon community leaders and youth on use of Internet
Phisit Boonchuang, Chonburi’s vice governor, chaired a
seminar titled “Thais step forward through the use of Internet” at the
Grand Jomtien Hotel Pattaya last week in the presence of Telecommunication
of Thailand (TOT) representatives, tambon community leaders and young
Government policy is urging all Thai youngsters and
community leaders to become computer literate and learn how to use the
Internet and has enlisted the cooperation of TOT to help make the plan a
seminar was held last week at the Grand Jomtien Hotel to educate the general
public and young kids on computers and internet usage.
Phisit said, “Today the world of business has been
moving really fast and all Thai citizens should learn how to use the
Phisit said tambon communities have proven their
tremendous potential to produce quality products, and now the government
wants them to be able to promote them through the use of the Internet for
greater global exposure. He said government officials contacted the TOT to
help upgrade the knowledge of Thais on Internet use.
Wannaporn Leehacheewa, director of Public Relations
Department of Telecommunications Organization of Thailand said almost 5,000
tambons have had internet connection systems installed to enable community
leaders to sell their products in a more effective way.
The TOT divided their target in two groups, general
public and young kids. The campaign was called the ‘edutainment’ where
the use of computer and fun activities was combined to effectively educate
Well-known public speakers, including Professor Apichart
Damdee and his working group, have taken time to break the ice and slowly
feed in useful information and knowledge of computer use to build up
In Chonburi, 10 similar campaigns educated over 93 tambon
leaders from 8 provinces in the east, including Chonburi, Rayong,
Chacherngsao, Nakornnayok, Chantaburi, Trat, Srakaew, and Prachinburi.
Students from 6 schools, including Banglamung School,
Phodhisamphan Pithayakarn School, Sattahip Vidhiyakom School, Sriracha
School, Saensukh School, and Sukhlapidhaya Krungthainukloh School were given
a chance to train in the fundamentals of the Internet every Thursday and
Friday between July 2 and September 19.
Tapas & Wine Bar opens at The House
A delightful culinary tradition from Spain can now be found in Chiang Mai
Text: Marion Vogt Photos:
The House, a very stylish and upscale restaurant, opened
its new ‘outlet’ in the premises of their restaurant. They call it the
Wine & Tapas Bar. There are as many variations of tapas as there are
cooks in Spain, or maybe more. What is it? you may still ask. We are talking
about small portions of food, which are served as part of the social scene
Pom with his tray of tapas offering and recommending Bud Velat.
Spaniards go to bars to converse, join friends, argue,
joke and flirt. Tapas are provided to keep them going, and are rarely eaten
in lieu of a main meal. The best tapas bars are in the larger cities and
near universities or towns where people happen to arrive at tapas time, such
as where commuters end up. Doesn’t that sound exactly as if it was
invented for Chiang Mai?
Powell, sports director from Prem International chatting with Karen.
Some authors assure that “the tapa” was born when,
due to an illness, Spanish King Alfonso the 10th had to take small bites of
food with some wine between meals. Once recovered from his sickness, the
wise king ordered that in all inns of Castile’s land, wine was not to be
served if not with something to eat. This royal providence has to be
considered convenient and wise in order to avoid the alcoholic disturbances
in the body to the ones that drank the wine. That was the origin of “la
tapa”, the word of such a rooted Spanish tradition, a solid food that
covered the wineglass.
and designer Daeng with Nai Glinhorn.
And so this tapa’s tradition was spread out all around
Spain, and continues even nowadays, and it has been adopted, adapted, and
disguised in other countries.
The traditional drink to be taken with the tapa is wine,
or at ‘Happy Hour’, meaning ‘before dinner’, an aperitif in the form
of a fresh Mediterranean cocktail of lime, rum, mint-bases, or a stylish
Hans and his creative chef, Pom.
The opening party of the Tapas and wine bar was more a
‘happening’, a ‘who’s who’ and a ‘you have to be seen’. The
whole atmosphere, the friendliness of the hosts, and the quality of the
tapas served made people stay a lot longer then they probably estimated.
Mine host, Hans B. Christensen, seemed to be everywhere,
talking to staff, guests, advising here, explaining there, and always
keeping his calm and friendly mannerisms, which made his guests feel at home
and at ease from the minute they walked in.
and enjoying tapas and wine are Jarenrnsak Winyar MSC, and Gai from Bake and
Bite Bakery, while Puk and Sanya from the Chiangmai Mail Sales team stand
The kitchen staff served endless trays with mixed tapas.
The ingredients that go into the making of Spanish tapas are limitless, and
the combinations can stretch as far as the imagination. Vegetables, seafood,
poultry, dairy and meat are all part of this grand culinary experience.
from ‘Mopi’ Company, Lukdarn, one of the hard working waitresses and
Rotarian Michael Jacobsen.
The key to quality tapas is freshness and prime
ingredients, which ‘The House’ supplied with culinary taste. The waiters
carried ham croquettes, potato tortillas with whisky sauce, gazpacho soup
“The House way”, and tiny small pieces of pork loin with garlic mashed
potato in a sweet and sour sauce, which was then even garnished with grilled
tomato and olives.
Tapas Bar means you mingle, talk and get to meet new people while enjoying
wine, cocktails and tapas. From left: Cherry and Nikolaus Prachensky, Rudy
van den Berg from Horeca Food Supply, Frank and Becky Weicks.
Brochette with mozzarella and tomato seemed to be amongst
the favorites, as well as bites of chicken laab, already prepared on a
ceramic spoon with cucumbers and everything else that had to be there, was
‘just a bite away’. It does not matter if the Italians call it
antipasto, the Chinese dim sum, the Turks maze, the French hors d’oeuvres
and the Spanish tapas. However, unlike their cousins around the world, tapas
are more than just appetizers.
International School teachers are a common sight in Chiang Mai’s
For the guests it was a fuse of ‘Asia meets Spain meets
the whole Mediterranean Coast’, and everyone present mingled and talked,
made promises to return to experience this stylish, yet down to earth
ambience again, and try even more of the delicious little tapas.