Murakami Fans, This Jazz Concert Is For You

The Listen to Murakami: Jazz, Classical Music, and the Beatles concert features music from the world-famous writer's stories.

Any Haruki Murakami fan knows that the novelist is passionate about jazz, and constantly peppers his books with musical references. After all, the man ran a small jazz bar for several years. Well, if you’ve always wondered what the heck he was talking about (but couldn’t be bothered to look up the songs on Spotify), here’s your chance to listen to the songs that play such a vital role in his novels. 

As part of the Haruki Murakami Festival, the Japan Foundation has organized two concerts featuring the music mentioned in Murakami’s stories. Among the performers are Japanese jazz pianists Hiroko Kokubo and her trio, Beatles-inspired classical ensemble 1966 Quartet, and Filipina pianist April Dawnena Merced-Misa. The songs will be interspersed with spoken word readings by David Ezra. 

Listen to Murakami: Jazz, Classical Music, and the Beatles will be held at the Globe Auditorium, Maybank Performance Arts Center in Taguig on March 23, Friday, and 24, Saturday at 8:00 p.m. While admission is free, registration is highly encouraged. You can sign up at the concert’s Eventbrite page starting February 27, Tuesday. For inquiries, you can email [email protected] 

The UP Film Institute will also be screening films based on Murakami’s work on March 15 and 16. These include Norwegian Wood—a nostalgic, melancholy novel whose plot revolves around a college student torn between two very different women. One of Murakami’s most popular books, it’s basically gateway Murakami. Tony Takitani is based on a short story about a lonely man who falls for his client, a woman with an unhealthy obsession with clothes.


If you’re a hardcore fan who’s ready to geek out about Murakami’s novels, don’t miss English professor Alona Guevara’s talk during the festival’s opening night at Ateneo de Manila University. Guevara specializes in Haruki Murakami Studies, and will be discussing Murakami’s popularity and global appeal with fellow lecturer Julz Riddle. 

But if you’re a casual reader who’s just beginning to enter the crazy world of Murakami’s novels, don’t worry—the talks are designed to appeal to neophytes and “Harukists” alike. The talk will be held on Tuesday, February 27, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Leong Hall. It will be followed by an overview of the festival, and a preview performance by April Dawnena Merced-Misa and David Ezra.

There will also be two other talks by Palanca award-winning Filipino writers at Fully Booked on March 17 and 18, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. At Talking About Murakami on the 17th, John B. Labella, Luna Sicat Cleto, and Mary Thomas will discuss Murakami’s story, writing style, and influence. On the 18th, Frank Cimatu and Achilles B. Mina will talk about the novelist’s passion for running at Murakami: Running & Writing. 

With all these amazing events lined up, the fans are obviously excited:

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Angelica Gutierrez
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