Borneo Jazz 2011 Wrap Up – Part 1

This is my first time covering a major international event under the umbrella of Sarawak Blogger and this particular event just happened behind my own ‘backyard’. I am honored at the same time fortunate to be part of the media team that work closely with the main organizer – Sarawak Tourism Board. For the first time, Borneo Jazz is held for four days and this year is its sixth year held in Miri (2nd largest city in the state of Sarawak).

The four days jazz festival ended up with truly international flavor that consist of Latin, Asian, European and American fusions. Totally global flavor! Nothing gets better than this where you can get these live performances just behind your own ‘backyard’. I am so bless!

Thank you to Sarawak Tourism Board for making this happens. The media team is super cooperative and dedicated in their work. Not to mention, some awesome photos taken by Borneo Jazz official photographer, throughout the festival and William Ting, a fellow Sarawak Blogger member who’s covering the event too. 🙂

Day One – Opening Concert, Marina Bay Seafood Restaurant
The opening concert kicks off with CQuence, a local band hail from Miri. They get me swayed with Latino music and can’t help from not doing some salsa moves on the spot. After the energetic number, Dhruv from India performed next, mesmerizing the audience with funk jazz and Indian fusion.

Day Two –ParkCity Everly Hotel
When the night falls, it was like seeing herd of birds’ migration to ParkCity Everly Hotel. Food vendors were busy loading their stuff for business as early as 4pm, performers were seen busy working on their last ‘touch’ prior to the actual concert and when it was dark, the place came alive.

SIU2 from China rocking the night with Asian jazz fusion and what impressed me the most is that the group blended the traditional jazz rhythm with traditional Chinese instruments such as sanxien, zheng and a sheng wizard (a mouth organ) which is believed to be 5,000 year old instrument. Incredibly amazing!!

Followed by next performance was Cunha & Piper from Brazil/Australia. From hot bossa nova to sambas, they featured contemporary and traditional compositions that won their own fans.

There’s a saying that goes ‘the older the wine is, the better it taste’ and I couldn’t agree more when it come to Grammy award winner performance, John Hammond of USA. Energetically plucking his guitar and harmonica, he blew me away with superb acoustic blues numbers. Fabulous!

Never in my mind that there is such thing as gypsy jazz and I have the opportunity to hear it live performed by Les Doigt de L’Homme from France. Infusing up tempo music with elements of swing, rock and even punk, it made you swing to the music. The group had takes gypsy jazz further than ever before.

During the interval of each performance, the crowd was entertained with spinning tracks from DJ Kate Welshman aka Sister BB. This 52 year old lady really knows her stuff and I was totally amazed and blew away by her. Damn she is freaking cool!!

I went home happily that night. I just couldn’t wait for the next day.

How was your experience on that night?

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