Hard Rock Hotel looks for next great guitarist

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The Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya and Siam Guitar joined forces earlier this month to find Thailand’s next great rock guitarist at the Pattaya Guitar Battle and Festival 2013.

Jakkrapan Kanchoungchote won the 50,000 baht first prize by beating out eight other guitarists in performances of classic western rock songs at the hotel’s Soul Lounge on Saturday, Nov. 16.  Rati Pradyanuporn took the 15,000 baht runner-up prize.

Jakkrapan Kanchoungchote (front center left) poses with the judges and fellow contestants on stage at the conclusion of the Hard Rock Pattaya Guitar Battle, Nov. 16.Jakkrapan Kanchoungchote (front center left) poses with the judges and fellow contestants on stage at the conclusion of the Hard Rock Pattaya Guitar Battle, Nov. 16.

Judges “Jack” Thamarat Duangsiri, the winner of the World Guitar Idol 2009 competition, Worawit Charoenphalonphachai, second-place finisher in the Pop Champ Overdrive Guitar contest, and Oran Phromjai, member of The Olarn Project, served as judges for the contest, entered by 47 guitarists.

The winner (second right) performs on stage with his guitar heroes.

The contestants were whittled down to eight for the live competition and the “battle round” saw those eight perform the Santana song “Smooth” with four chosen to move on and perform “Still got the Blues’ by Gary Moore.  The field was sliced again for the final round to just Jakkrapan and Rati, who faced off on a performance of the Deep Purple classic “Smoke on the Water.”

Olarn Phromjai, member of The Olarn Project and one of the contest judges, performs the hit solo ‘Ya Yud Yang’ in the Soul Lounge of Hard Rock Hotel, Pattaya.Olarn Phromjai, member of The Olarn Project and one of the contest judges, performs the hit solo ‘Ya Yud Yang’ in the Soul Lounge of Hard Rock Hotel, Pattaya.

In addition to his cash prize, Jakkrapan also got to perform with Worawit at the Hard Rock Café and will be interviewed in Siam Guitar magazine.

The delighted winner commented afterwards: “I have been playing guitar for 22 years and I would like to encourage people who are passionate that if there is a stage like this for you, take the opportunity to show yourself.  It doesn’t matter if you win or not, at least you have a chance to show it and get comments and advice from people to help improve your skills.”

Jakkrapan Janchoungchote (left) poses for a photo with his girlfriend and fiancée Kanchaporn Saewataapha.Jakkrapan Janchoungchote (left) poses for a photo with his girlfriend and fiancée Kanchaporn Saewataapha.

Jakkrapan confessed to having earlier that day successfully proposed to his girlfriend and said he would use the prize money to help pay for their wedding.

The judges at the event also rocked the stage with their awe-inspiring performance during a break in the contest.  And at Hard Rock Café Pattaya later that night, the winner, Jakkrapan, and Pop Woravit dueted on stage and performed some rock classics before joining up for a live session with the Hard Rock Café resident band D.N.A. and Drizzle.

The event at Hard Rock Pattaya was a real treat for guitar enthusiasts.The event at Hard Rock Pattaya was a real treat for guitar enthusiasts.

The inaugural Hard Rock Pattaya Guitar Battle event also featured booths selling musical instruments and accessories from more than 50 brands, plus guitar lessons and tips from accomplished guitarists.

Hard Rock Hotel looks for next great guitarist

PMTV