POSTPONED. The International Jazz concert at the Rose Garden is one of the crowd-drawing events that has been postponed indefinitely due to the novel coronavirus scare. Saxophonist Dean Mongerio is one of the three American jazz artists who were invited to join Filipino artists perform during the closing of the Panagbenga 2020 on March 7. (Photo courtesy of the BTC from Dean Mongerio)

BAGUIO CITY – Three jazz players from the United States and Canada will not be coming here by the end of the Panagbenga or the Baguio Flower Festival after crowd-drawing events of the annual festivity were postponed to avoid the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which has killed more than 200 persons in China alone.

Baguio Tourism Council acting chairman Gladys Vergara- de Vera said American saxophonist Theo Wanne, who is also a saxophone manufacturer, Dean Mongerio, and Sean Tan will not be coming for the Panagbenga and play for the Baguio crowd due to the nCoV scare.

“We have to tell them this early that we have to postpone the concert,” she told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) right after the emergency press conference at the Baguio City Hall multi-purpose hall on Friday where Mayor Benjamin Magalong canceled the Panagbenga opening parade and the drum and lyre competition.

Mongerio, a New York-based saxophonist and composer, has recorded several singles while Tan is an American musician of Chinese descent.

The three were scheduled to play by the Cultural Center of the Philippines at the Rose Garden on March 7 and at various hotels.

They were supposed to play along with Filipino artists Tots Tolentino, Simon Tan Trio, Amp Big Band, Jocelle Feliciano and the all-female vocal trio Baihana to culminate this year’s Panagbenga festivities that is on its 25th year.

De Vera said the Rose Garden will be an artists' haven where they can have their works displayed using the chalets that were built during the Enchanting Baguio Christmas in November and December last year.

The chalets were never removed as the BTC decided that they will allow its use for the city creatives to display their work but there will be no selling.

“And so we planned to have the international jazz concert to jazz up the artists show,” she said.

The BTC has recently worked with the CCP where the cultural dancers and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra performed to the delight of more than 10,000 Baguio folks and visitors in November last year that kicked off the enchanting Christmas celebration.

“We want to do something similar but this time, jazz,” said de Vera. (PNA)