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Head East for one of Asia's favourite world music festival that takes place in the rainforest of Sarawak and features the best of cultures from there, and beyond.
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Sarawak’s homegrown jazz stage is set to introduce acts from Poland, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and Japan, in addition to Asian musical favourites. Mallika Naguran tunes in.
MIRI, 2 May 2018. Jazz fans can look forward to a full three-day musical extravaganza at Borneo Jazz in Miri, Sarawak. The 13th annual edition of the jazz festival will be held from Friday 11 May to Sunday 13 May 2018, organised by Sarawak Tourism Board for 13 years now.
But three things are different this year. First, there’s a change in venue. Borneo Jazz will be held at the Coco Cabana, Marina Bay – bigger, better with more room to sit, dance and walk around by the seaside of Miri town.
Next, the programme is arranged by the folks behind No Black Tie of Kuala Lumpur. The festival director Evelyn Hii is the founder of the famous jazz club that has seen a healthy stream of visiting famed musicians pass through, placing jazz prominently on the Malaysian map. Incidentally, Hii was born in Sarawak.
Third, it will be a three day event for the very first time. Borneo Jazz typically features recognised musicians from local and international jazz scenes over two days, and this year will be no different all through a mega weekend, from Friday to Sunday. Around 30 bands or acts can be enjoyed through if one gets the entire festival pass.
A wide repertoire of jazz genres can be expected at Borneo Jazz 2018 with international acts from Poland, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and Japan along with Asian jazz greats. Check out the programme here.
Performers at Borneo Jazz 2018
Borneo Jazz 2018 will have high energy and versatile performers with internationally acclaimed artistes such as the Swiss-French ensemble Chris Stalk Quartet, Italian vocalist Cecilia Brunori, Chinese saxophonist Gaoyang Li, multi-talented Polish artist Grzegorz Karnas, Cuban band Havana Social Club featuring Lazaro Numa.
Acclaimed Asian performers include Jeremy Monteiro, Singapore's 'King of Swing'; Az Samad, a guitarist, composer, and educator who has recorded with Flaco Jiménez and Max Baca; KL’s own soul queen Elvira Arul; and the iconic Michael Veerapen.
Jeremy Monteiro will be leading the 18-piece Jazz Association of Singapore Orchestra (JASSO) on Friday night.
Jazz vocalist Cecilia Brunori will entertain on Sunday night. Cecilia Brunori’s repertoire of performances ranges from performing at festivals in Italy including one of the largest jazz festivals in the world, Umbria Jazz Festival.
She is currently working on an album with a well-known jazz pianist and composer, Danilo Rea.
Every night, post concert, a jam session will be held. Especially on Saturday, following Havana Social Club’s gig at 11:45 pm, make your way to the jam venue at 1 am to mingle with the performers.
What has not changed about Borneo Jazz is its outreach programme, where aspiring musicians can learn the basics of jazz musical instruments from professional musicians.
Watch and listen to the winning Borneo participants of the Borneo Jazz Talent Search on Sunday.
So there you go, these are the three reasons to go to Borneo Jazz 2018. Do you know of any more? Add them here by leaving a comment!
While You Are At Borneo Jazz 2018…
The Festival includes night performances with sitting and dancing areas and a wide lawn for night picnics surrounded by arts, crafts and food stalls.
As a resort city, Miri offers a wide range of accommodation from international class hotels to budget inns, good beaches and dozens of lively restaurants, pubs and bars.
Visitors going to this cosmopolitan city of Miri can visit the Lambir Hills, the historical Niah National Park located just an hour or two away respectively. Check out the Piasau Nature Reserve and the reforestation story by jazz musicians.
And if you are a scuba diver, the dive sites in the Miri-Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park beckons. The nearest dive site is a mere 15-min away, just off the coast of the city.
For more information, visit the Borneo Jazz website at https://jazzborneo.com/
Fly to Kuching or Mulu for other true Sarawakian cultural and adventure holidays.
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