Enjoy your life today because yesterday had gone and tomorrow may never come, so live life to the fullest.

A WOMAN'S DIARY - Enjoy your life today because yesterday had gone and tomorrow may never come, so live life to the fullest.

Borneo Jazz Festival 2016 : Press Conference, Outreach Program & Performances

As usual, on the day of the jazz performances, there will be a press conference held for the media. In the press conference, the media will get to know the line-up performer for that day, the performer group history and background, at the same time, the session also offers a platform for the media to conduct a one to one interview session whenever required.

Day 1 Press Conference (Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board)

Day 2 Press Conference (Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board)

This year, something new was introduced; a form of an outreach programme. Borneo Jazz featured a keyboard/piano workshop on ‘Jazz and Pop patterns for the Keyboard’ which was intended to target young budding, talented local musicians. In the workshop, the local musical enthusiasts are given free tutelage to learn the art of jazz playing. The workshop was conducted by Associate Professor Razif Mohd, a graduate of the Conservertoire de Region de Rueil-Malmaison and Centre d’Information Musicale de Paris, France who is also currently lecturing at the School of Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia. The Professor is also the founder of USM jazz band.

Assoc. Prof. Razif Mohd (Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board)

Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board

Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board

To kick start the jazz festival, Borneo Jazz featured a slot for the youth to showcase their talent. This year, Borneo Jazz gets Chung Hua Miri Brass Band and USM Mini Big Band to perform. The Chung Hua Miri Marching Band is one of Malaysia top musical groups. The uniqueness of this group is their artistic drill designs, choreographer and upbeat concert orchestra, showcasing a musical repertoire of jazzy latin American music, Italian and Spanish numbers, Malaysian tunes and classic Chinese melodies too.

USM Mini Big Band (Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board)

USM Mini Big Band is a smaller group formed from USM Jazz Band. Founded in 1998, USM Jazz Band was formed by Assoc. Prof. Razif Mohd. The band has performed for various events and participated in various international and university level competitions. Having them to perform in the 11th edition of Borneo Jazz made them as the first university band ever.

O Sister! (Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board)

Day 1 – Performer Line up
O Sister! (Spain)
Although the group is from Spain, their music is a tribute to the North American popular music from the 1920s and 30s; golden ages of ‘Dixie’ and ‘Swing’. Inspired by the Boswell Sisters, where their music approach uses harmony, rhythm and vocal resources had encouraged singer Paula Padilla to start the project in 2007 hence the O Sister!.

A.P.I (Malaysia & India)
The group is a culmination of musical journey of Asia bass player, Andy Peterson. His project showcases the versatility of the bass guitar. Together with highly skilled musicians from India, the unique collaboration was fantastic!

Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board

Yuichiro Tokuda’s Ralyzzdig (Japan)
This year, it is more like a homecoming year for Yuichiro Tokuda as this is his 2nd time performing in Borneo Jazz Festival. Every year, the multi jazz award recipient performs at Japan’s most prestigious jazz festival ‘Yokohama Jazz Promenade’ and he’s well known in his area of speciality: progressive jazz.

Manou Gallo Groove Orchestra (Ivory Coast & Belgium)
Manou Gallo is a renowned bassist, guitarist, percussionist, singer and songwriter who mixes her African roots and European upbringing with blues, funk and contemporary soul music. She’s now formed her own accompanying brass band (Manou Gallo Groove Orchestra) with musicians from over the world.

Raw Earth (Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board)

Day 2 – Performer Line up
Raw Earth (Singapore)
This group delivered an old school flavour, a vibrant on stage improvisation and interaction made the entire show interesting for the crowd. Raw Earth is a blues, rock & soul band made up of Singapore’s most prominent musicians such Danny Loong, Francis Chan (both are from the critically acclaimed Ublues), Victor Chen (winner of Strip Acoustic, Wala Wala), Surath Godfrey & Hanrong (Rock outfit Reverie) combined forces that night.

Funkatorie (Malaysia)
This band is made up of a group of highly regarded musicians, led by hin Ee Jeng (founder), Miri born Dean Sim (guitarist), Derrick Siow (drummer), Yow Weng Wai (saxophonist) and Eddie Wen (trumpet). The group became well known soul-funk-jazz based in Kuala Lumpur.

One of Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion member (Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board)

Klazz Brothers  & Cuba Percussion (Germany & Cuba)
Known as ‘master of classical crossover’ because of their multiple award winning program : Classic  meets Cuba, the group breathe new life with revived classics such as compositions by Bach & Mozart with a distinct Cuban sound. Their music can be heard in Hollywood blockbusters like ‘Collateral’ with Tom Cruise or ‘Hitch’ starring Will Smith.

The Rad Trads (Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board)


The Rad Trads (USA)
Based in New York, the band has gained a reputation as one of New York’s most entertaining live acts with their music ranging from early jazz to New Orleans brass band, R&B, Chicago and delta blues along with rock and roll. They surely win over the crowd with their relentless energy and enthusiasm.

Can you spot the performers among the crowd? (Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board)

The grand finale (Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board)

Next year, Borneo Jazz Festival will fall on May 12-13, 2017. Same venue, same time but with more exciting and interesting line up of performers. 😉

Borneo Jazz Festival 2016 : Tree Planting, Media Briefing & Sunset Buffet

In line with Sarawak Tourism Board’s (STB) environmental preservation efforts, a tree planting event was held at Piasau Nature Reserve Park. STB works closely with Sarawak Shell Berhad and Sarawak Forestry Corporation on this tree planting event. The ceremony was attended by jazz performers, international & local media representative, government officials, Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) volunteers and hoteliers in Miri.

Tree Planting Group Photo (Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board)

We, the Sarawak Bloggers get to do our part on the nature conservation and we planted ‘Kasai’ tree or scientifically known as ‘Pometia Pinnata’. Was told by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation staff that the tree would bear fruits upon reaching maturity and that would be one of the food sources suitable to the birds and small mammals on the ground. The sandy and porous soil in the reserve park is suitable for the growth of the tree.

Sarawak Blogger Tree & Location


Candid shot of yours truly (Photo credits to Pei)

Later in the afternoon, a media briefing was conducted by Borneo Jazz Festival Artistic Director, Director of Events & Corporate Relations along with Communications Manager to the international and local media.

Jun Lin, Artistic Director (left), Angelina Bateman, Director of Events & Corporate Relations (centre), Barbara Benjamin, Communications Manager (far right) – Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board

Towards the evening, the media were invited to a sunset cocktail buffet by the pool at Miri Marriot Resort & Spa Hotel. The international and local media were entertained with live sape music apart from offering variety of mouth-watering local cuisine.

Wefie by Sarawak Bloggers (Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board)

Sarawak Bloggers with Aziz of Borneo Bulletin (Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board)

If you haven’t got your ticket yet, you can purchase it at ParkCity Everly Hotel’s lobby tonight.

You may also want/get to read more/ follow updates from my other fellow bloggers, Pei & Judith.

ps-a big thank you to Miri Marriot Resort & Spa Hotel for sponsoring the sunset cocktail buffet. 😉

Borneo Jazz Festival 2016 : Festival Briefing, Walkabout & Preview

As usual, the organizer Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) always provides the media first-hand information on Borneo Jazz Festival. This year’s festival is the 11th edition and is scheduled to be on May 13th & May 14th at ParkCity Everly Hotel, Miri.

Andrew Law of ParkCity Everly Hotel (left), Angelina Bateman of Sarawak Tourism Board (centre), Barbara Benjamin of Sarawak Tourism Board (right)

The walkabout was led by Mr. Andreww Law, GM of ParkCity Everly Hotel, Miri

Main stage setup still in progress

This time round, the festival goer will get to see eight jazz bands with four groups performing each night. The bands are Raw Earth (Singapore), Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion (Germany/Cuba), Yuichiro Tokuda’s Ralyzzdig (Japan), Manou Gallo Groove Orchestra (Belgium) & Ivory Coast, O Sister! (Spain), Funkatorie (Malaysia), A.P.I (Malaysia & India), last but not least, The Rad Trads (USA).

This year’s Borneo Jazz will feature an ‘outreach programme’ with keyboard/piano workshop on ‘Jazz & Pop patterns for Keyboard’ which is intended to provide free tutelage for local musicians to learn the art of jazz playing. The outreach programme will be conducted by Asoc. Prof. Razif Mohd, a graduate of Conservertoire de Region de Rueil-Malmaison & Centre d’Information Musicale de Paris, France whom currently a lecturer at School of Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Tonight, at 9.30pm, there will be a preview held at Ming Café where you’ll get to see Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion, O Sister! & Yuichiro Tokuda Ralyzzdig performing. In conjunction of the preview night, the public can purchase special ticket price; buy 2 days passes, get free 1 day pass. It’s a great bargain so if you haven’t got any ticket yet, do drop by at Ming Café tonight coz the special ticket price is only for TODAY!

Borneo Jazz Festival 2016 is BACK!

First staged in 2006, the Borneo Jazz Festival was originally called the Miri International Jazz Festival until 2011, when it was rebranded. The festival was first organized with the prime objective of creating another signature event in Sarawak and particularly in Miri, in order to promote the city as a Resort City. It has since then become a well-known addition to the myriad of festivals that Sarawak has to offer. The festival is slotted to be held on the second weekend of May every year and this year is the 11th anniversary which will be held from May 13-14, 2016. The venue will be at ParkCity Everly Hotel Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia .

A major Jazz festival in Sarawak with an audience estimated at 4,000 people. Borneo Jazz is a niche event and appeals especially to the expatriates working in the State and neighboring countries. It also has a record of environmental awareness as evidenced by its tree planting campaigns and its attention to recycling at the venue.

Photo credits to Sarawak Tourism Board

A two-night program comprising Jazz performers from around the world at nightly shows on an outdoor stage, and is the only Jazz festival throughout Borneo to be held by the sea. In the evenings, marching bands from local schools are also invited to the festival to present their skills and be exposed to an international event, as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

There is also a food and village mart selling an array of local, international and fusion food as well as festival memorabilia.

Surveys from Borneo Jazz 2015 show an average of 60 national and international media personnel covering the event representing mostly daily papers, music and travel magazines (print and electronic), radio stations, TV stations and the social media represented by bloggers and twitters. The media value is estimated in excess of RM10 million. Surveys from Borneo Jazz 2015 also shows there is an estimated crowd of 40% non-Malaysians coming to the Festival.

If you haven’t got your ticket yet, to ease the hassles, you may click here for details to find out more on the ticket price.

More updates to come so stay tuned. 😉