The 1st West Philippine Sea Jazz and Blues Festival is the first of its kind in the Philippines and Southeast Asia and the biggest gathering of renown jazz and blues artists of the country in one music festival in a singular venue at the newly opened Birdland Beach Social Club in Bolinao, Pangasinan. The founder, Michael Donato Parayno, is a Filipino American academic, artist, and founder and director of two infamous and legendary jazz clubs named Birdland Jazzista Social Club in the San Franciso Bay area in the cities of Berkeley and Oakland, California. Parayno has been instrumental in creating a blues and jazz district along a seven block corridor on Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Oakland. Parayno aka Birdmand Mike has recently permanently moved back to the Philippines in January 2015 after a 44 year migration to the United States. The Birdman has returned to his homeland nest.
The mission of the WPSJBF is multifold. The organizers and Birdand Beach Club(BBC) want to recognize top national artists along with some international artists in the field of jazz and blues. Often top national musicians are relegated to playing at hotel lobbies and shopping malls, dive bars, and corporate parties depriving them the opportunities to present true art music to an appreciative audience and robbing them of their full expressive capacities as artists. Secondly, BBC would like to bring this music often associated with the urban cosmopolitan metropolis to the local provinces so the provincial populace is exposed to something greater than the one or two cover bands that dominate all the barangay music at the annual festivals(often provided gratis by the ruling political party in exchange for political patronage) or the mind numbing effects of karaoke and videoke on the local youth. WPSJBF aims to inspire youth to pursue other genres of music than OPM and pop music saturated by local and national pop artists. Finally, BBC is currently constructing a music recital hall and music school at Birdland Beach Social Club to hold annual jazz and blues workshops and clinics to national and local youth as well as to serve as an indoor venue for the festival in 2017 in order to double the number of artists playing at the 2017 WPSJBF. BBC will secure all the music equipment from its current endorsers of Birdland Jazzista Social Club in the USA like Markbass amps(Italy), Gallien Krueger amps(California), Canopus Drums(Japan), Spaun Drums(California), Bluemic(California), Nord Keyboards(Sweden), and Jazzkat amps(New York) to provide youth music education.