Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival (KKJF) is back again on its 8th edition this year. The event will be held on 13 – 14 June 2014 at Covered Tennis Court, Sutera Harbour, from 7PM to 11PM. KKJF is an annual fund-raising jazz extravaganza jointly organized by the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu (RCKK) and the Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (SPArKS).
Tickets to the event are priced at RM70 for a one-day pass and RM100 for a two-day pass, check out this link to find out the ticketing outlets in Kota Kinabalu, http://kkjazzfest.com/get-your-tickets/
KK Jazz Festival is now a signature event in Sabah’s annual calendar of events, and is also a key component of the Kota Kinabalu Arts Festival that is also happening throughout this June.
The event will be hosted by our well known Sabahan celebrity, Daphne Iking. Daphne Iking is an award-winning Malaysian TV and radio personality who started her career as a broadcast journalist but now boasts of a myriad of other notable accomplishments including being emcee at numerous events, television host and appearances in television commercials.
KK Jazz Festival 2014 performer’s profile
The jazz extravaganza festival brings together a musical melting pot of talents from around the world and also Sabah’s own local talents as well. Here are the performer’s profile;
Jerome Rico & Mara Viola (Philippines)
Jerome Rico is a renowned finger style guitarist back in his home country of the Philippines. He has performed with many music greats; including:
- Kyla, the Philippines’ R&B and Soul Princess who is one of only three Filipino winners of the international MTV Music Video Award.
- Nina, the highly-successful pop/R&B singer and winner of eight Awit Awards, the country’s most
- prestigious music award show.
- Sitti, Philippines’ Queen of Bossa Nova.
- U-Turn, the famous Filipino boy band.
The song Agua De Bebber from Jerome’s “Jerome Rico Guitar Shop” (2006) album won the Best Instrumental Performance at the 20th Annual Awit Awards in 2007 while another song, When I Met You, was nominated for Best Jazz Recording at the same award show.
Jerome’s first performance in Malaysia at this Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival features jazz singer Mara Viola.
She has been singing professionally throughout the Philippines, in Japan and in China for more than a decade now. She’s even sung before former president Joseph Estrada while he was still in power. Mara’s appearance here in Kota Kinabalu is also her first performance in Malaysia.
Yuta Tanaka (Japan)
Inspired by various genres of music, Japanese guitarist Yuta Tanaka travels the world playing the guitar. He has performed in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and Malaysia .
His passion is to play the blues. However with years of dedication and countless hours of practice, he has developed an extraordinary technique and finger-style ability, to simultaneously play complex bass lines, harmony and melody at the same time.
He has arranged his own version of favourite Japanese songs, Western pop songs, jazz, blues, country and classic for the guitar .
Yuta’s original compositions are complex yet melodic and challenging for even the most advanced guitarists to perform.
The Seasons 4 (Kuala Lumpur)
These four golden voices from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, specialists in their own professions, decided to form a singing Quartet in 2008, for harmony singing, both accompanied and A Cappella.
Little did this Quartet know that their singing would open doors for them for performances at private functions before royalties, dignitaries and friends. Their tastefully crafted presentations have been a complete surprise to many.
They are one of Malaysia’s rare singing Quartet doing harmony singing on a regular basis with a repertoire that is a blend of evergreens, contemporary songs and Jazz for which they are most passionate about. The unique, freshly brewed twist of harmony and new arrangements to familiar tunes is a pleasure to behold.
Joan Jim Quintet (JJQ)
Joan Jim, a Malaysian-based vocalist, guitarist and arranger hails from Sabah, Borneo is known for her love and style in Latin Jazz singing. More than just a typical singer you’ll ever know, Joan is a passionate vocalist/musician who does her own music arrangement in her repertoires.
Collaborating with the current Indonesian uprising established musicians, this time JJQ will present you Hairul Umam on alto sax, Gabriella Miranda on keys, Catur Kurniawan on bass and Warman Sanjaya on drums.
JJQ will bring you to another level yet fresh sound of Jazz music and will give you the experience of mood changing based on the different tunes that they’re going to present. JJQ is a Jazz band that you never wanna miss to listen to for they represent the current and modern sound of Jazz.
- Vocals/guitar – Joan Jim
- Alto sax – Hairul Umam
- Piano – Gabriella Miranda
- Double bass – Catur Kurniawan
- Drums – Warman Sanjaya
Jive With Purpose (Sabah)
A diversified group with a distinct jazzy sound to their music under the label Purpose Records.
Jive with Purpose is Jonathan Tse (an established Malaysian singer songwriter), Keys Abraham (a passionate doctor with a mission to save lives and sooth souls), Annabel T (a super songstress with a new jazz album ‘Catchin Up’, hitting the local charts) and Patin Band (a talented bunch of musicians from Sabah).
Their electrifying energy on stage will keep you tapping to the groove and singing along to famous jazz renditions of popular songs and their original songs.
The small but powerful Italian Orchestra Without Instruments, Mezzotono, is entirely executed by five voices a-cappella, which means without the use of any musical instruments, because the voices reproduce the different instruments and the often comical approach of the five interpreters encourages audience participation in a nice and never pushy way.
Not only the Italian theatres but 20 countries around the world hosted their music, being it the Italian vocal group with more concerts abroad. The originality of the performance is evident in their repertoire which consists solely of defining Italian music singed in many styles.
From jazz to bossa nova, from mambo to tango, from big band style to classic music, all the songs have a very different impact from the original version because of the arrangements and the unpredictable contribution of the rythmic-vocal section.
Harry Toledo Covers (Indonesia)
Bass guru Harry Toledo (seated centre, in orange shirt) is an incredibly talented yet down-to-earth man. Indonesian bassist, composer, arranger and programmer, Harry’s passion and love for music started in middle school when he self-learned the bass guitar.
In the year 2000, he left his home in Riau and went to Jakarta to learn from renowned Indonesian jazz musician Idang Rasjidi. During the year, he formed a band under the name Cherokee with musicians Rio Moreno, Iwan Wiradz, Kadek Rihardika and Agus Montero. Known for their hit “One Love Forever”, Cherokee features a well-known Indonesian singer Tompi on vocals.
Three years later, he joined several notable musicians like Rick Smith (USA), Bruno (France), Lewis Pragasam (Malaysia) and Tompi (Indonesia) to produce the album Bali Lounge.
Through the years, Harry’s career as a renowned bassist gained momentum… he has recorded as well as performed with the world renowned musicians like the legendary Bob James, Harvey Mason, and Phil Perry in the Bangkok International Jazz Festival.
Harry also had performed in many established jazz festival throughout the world: Hong Kong, China, Madagascar, Australia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. He is a familiar face at Indonesian international jazz festivals like Java Jazz, Jak Jazz And Jazz Goes To Campus.
Estudiantina Ensemble (Cuba)
The Estudiantina Ensemble comes all the way from Cuba and bring the country’s traditional Estudiantina music to Kota Kinabalu for the first time. This genre of music – otherwise known as music by student groups – originates from 1927 and is all about feisty and powerful melody.
At the base is the Danzón-clave, in the 8-piece band with a special instrument “Pailitas” also known as the Baroque Timpani, two small kettle drums of French baroque that had come through from Haiti. These are the forerunners of the famous contemporary Timbales that are used in many Salsa bands. Where the Salsa and modern Timba is being played fast and forward, this Danzón / Son-tradition is more laid-back, rather behind the beat than played in front of the beat. Thus it is truly the Roots of Traditional Cuban music, with Guaracha’s, Boleros, Danzones and Boleros-son.
The Estudiantina Ensemble was founded by Ricardo Bekema, with the objective of maintaining the authentic Cuban Traditional Danzón and Son styles from Oriente de Cuba. After years of studies in Santiago de Cuba and the surrounding area with teachers like Gabino Jardines Cisneros, Eva de la Caridad Griñan, Inaudis Paisán Mallet, Roberto Nápoles Castillo, Rey Cabrera Castellano and Arístides Torres, Ricardo by now has become a connoisseur of the Trova music.
In 2007, the ensemble received an official invitation from the Cuban Ministry of Culture, “Centro de la Musica Provincial” and a personal signed invitation from none other than “Eliades Ochoa Bustamante” (Buena Vista Social Club), to come and play at the 45th edition of the prestigious “International Festival de la Trova”, “Pepe Sánchez”.
And so it was that the Estudiantina Ensemble was playing at the legendary stages of the Casa de la Trova, the Plaza de Marti and the Casa de la Musica, in front of the cameras of the National Cuban state television and a wildly enthusiastic Cuban crowd.
The masters of bossa, samba, swing and fusion, keyboardist Suady Rasman, bassist Roger Mc, drummer Rahman Ngasio and vocalist Al Agullana have been performing together for THREE decades! and they’re showing absolutely no signs of stopping.
Another local band that will be performing in KK Jazz Festival. As commented by Joanna Funk of SabahSongs,
I saw local band Fingerstyle at the Blue Note, at the culmination of the talent search, and they just are great entertainment! Their female singer is a powerhouse – she really belts out a song! Fingerstyle are an energetic and happy band on stage, and I can’t wait to see them again.
For the days leading up to the two-night event, a series of fringe events, called KKJF Jazz Stars and the much-anticipated KK Jazz Festival – Jazz Talent Search have been planned since May. KK Jazz Festival – Jazz Talent Search winners, Rozella Marie, SIA Goofy and SNF Project will be performing at KK Jazz Festival. Kian Kok School Big Band will also be performing on the event as a special feature.
Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival’s Community Projects
KK Jazz Festival is also the only not-for-profit jazz festival in Malaysia. Organised by two leading NGOs – Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu and Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu Sabah, the festival is a fund raising event, of which the money from ticket sales is used to fund deserving community projects run by the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu.
Some of the communities that have benefited from the funds include:
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