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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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. 😉