Monday, May 16, 2011

Borneo Jazz 2011 Miri

Miri is blessed with talented musicians and artists.  It is not only a beautiful city but also changing into Jazz Haven.
Maria Muldaur (USA)
 The Borneo Jazz 2011 is held annually in Miri and this year, the Jazz community were presented with serenade from Zee Avi to Victor Yong, born in Miri and now living in Canada. 

Yuichiro Tokuda's Ralyzz Dig (JPN)

Apart from local talents, the international Jazz community were presented with Jazz fusions from all over the world.  Among them were famous names like SIU2 from China, State of Monc (Holland), Les Doigts De L’Homme (France), Yuichiro Tokuda’s Ralyzz Dig (Japan), Cunha E Piper (Brazil/Australia), The Electric Carnival Band (Malaysia/Canada), Dhruv (India) and CQuence (Miri).  

State of Monc (HOL)
The audience was captivated by Muldaur’s energetic performance and powerful voice. Grammy nominated Muldaur is best known for her seductive top 10 single ‘Midnight at the Oasis’. From her teen years as part of the folk revival of the sixties, to her recent ‘Bluesiana’ efforts, Maria has released more than 35 records which have been embraced by fans and critics alike.  
 A random survey conducted by The Borneo Post at the event that night revealed a large number in the audience who want Malaysian jazz queen Sheila Majid to perform in the next edition of Borneo Jazz.  Hopefully the Sarawak Tourism Board will work towards the request of having Sheila Majid performing in Miri next year!!
Victor Yong & The Electric Carnival Band (CAN)
Next event to look forward to is the Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching from 8-10th July 2011 at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Damai.
Abg Jo: Miri can be jazz haven

Posted on May 16, 2011, Monday The Borneo Post

MIRI: With its mix of multi-racial and cosmopolitan society, Miri should be able to become a jazz music centre in this region.
ENJOY THE SHOW: Abang Johari gets a wrist tag on his arrival at the festival.
Expressing this optimism, Minister of Tourism and Heritage Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said he was inspired by the good response from performers and jazz music lovers at the Borneo Jazz 2011 which concluded on Sunday night.

“We have two international music festivals in the state, namely the Rainforest Music Festival in Kuching and Borneo Jazz here in Miri. Rainforest Music Festival has become the icon of the traditional, ethnic and folk music and songs internationally,” he said.

Abang Johari, accompanied by his wife Datin Jumaani and permanent secretary to the Ministry of Social and Urban Development Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, was among the audience at the festival held at ParkCity Everly Hotel here.

Abang Johari noted that the festival had attracted a growing following every year and more participation from places beyond Asia such as America, Canada and Europe.

“Apart from that, Miri is also located near Brunei which is where we could tap into the international visitors and tourists including the expatriate communities to come as tourists to Miri,” he added.

The presence of Miri born Victor Yong and The Electric Carnival Band also boosted his confidence.

Born in Miri and now living in Canada, Victor marked his musical return to Miri through Borneo Jazz with his Latin inspired Carnival Band.

Though growing up with rock and roll, Victor’s love for jazz eventually moved him into a career as an international guitarist.

Victor is an incessant explorer discovering new styles, techniques and directions that he blends within a foundation of Latin jazz-rock fusion.

Victor’s debut compact disc reveals his collective experience of over 25 years of writing and performing in the rock and jazz genres.

The album, as well as the concert band, features some of the top names in Canadian jazz scene, performing delicate mix of composition and improvisation always with an attention to detail.

“We together with Sarawak Tourism Board are going to evaluate and think of ways to pave the future direction of the festival. This festival would be the foundation to develop Miri as a jazz centre in this region,” he added, saying that music has evolved to become a big industry internationally.

Among the steps to be taken to develop the local jazz scene, he suggested holding small concerts and workshops involving local artistes and musicians.

“We must rope in international jazz music experts including musical instrument companies to create awareness and interest among youngsters in the music.

“With this we would be able to create performers of international level,” he added.

He said Miri should be proud as Zee Avi has created a storm in the international jazz music arena.

The lass from Miri currently positions herself as a singer and composer of jazz music in New York, America.


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