The Extravaganza, The Borneo Jazz Festival

Just before I get started, would just like to grab this opportunity to thank a few people and party who had made this a success. First, goes out to Sarawak Bloggers who got me into this as a media and allowed me covering this event under their names. Much gratitude to be express but still thank you. Next on, Sarawak Tourism Board who had made this an annual event and world known across the globe. I was pretty much amazed and amused by all the backstage work that every committee had committed. Just as a chinese proverb saying, "台上三分钟,台下十年工"! It basically means that, it may only took you couple of minutes to perform on stage but it took more than years to prepare before hand off the stage. This is more precise proverb I could thought off to describe their hard work. 

Enough of my Oscar thank you list, we will now move back to the music festival. For the kick start and warm up, usually they started it with the Brass Band from local high school. It is an exposure to our teens and youngsters to such international event. Who knows they maybe "someone" someday. This time round they've got SMK Chung Hua & Riam Road Middle School. I am always impressed and full of jealousy when ever I saw someone who can played well with any musical instrument because I know none of them. Please keep it up and be greater than this!! (as if they gona read this, but who knows)

Having enough of starter and we shall now move on to our main course. There's much more to digest because I've got lots to share on what had the ears captured and heard. I can barely forget what I had seen and heard that night. Just like a thumb drive, I'm still having those screenshots playing on my mind.

Serving first on the menu, Diana Liu, our very own Sarawakian singer. Performing on the first day and being the first I think she did great. She have got a powerful voice for such a little body. I wouldn't say she is totally genuine jazz but it is something more fusion and mixture between a minimal of R&B genre, if I did not heard that wrongly. She did a great start to heat up the people on the ground.

Follow up right behind her is Mario Canonge from Martinique. I would say he is a total jazz musician. What he had presented during the festival was a genuine jazz in accordance to my knowledge. Do correct me if I got it wrong. I do feel surprised when he performed because to me jazz is something that wouldn't be complete without a saxophone. Hereby, he had proved me wrong. With only a piano, bass violin and a drum set, the groove were truly wonderful. However, it is something not everyone would like or enjoy. That is also something that makes him extraordinary isn't it?

All the way from Martinique, we are coming back to the homeland, Malaysia. We had something more funky with a jazz blending element. You'll be amazed that this 2 element do blend well when JunkOFunc, a Malaysian based band performing it. A band which consists of 12 members do blew off the audience out of the space with their outrageous performance. Especially the lead vocalist, Elvira Arul & Russel Curtis, they really really do impressed me! Despite of focusing with their performances, the interaction with the audience that comes out a little cheeky and hilarious do heat up the night whereas audience just couldn't stop moving their hips as if their body weren't under their controlled any more.

The crowd just couldn't cool down. Continuously one right after another hit. I wouldn't blame them because me myself was heating up when the emcee announced their appearance,Vocal Sampling from Cuba! Long awaited band for the night and they started out with the most famous hits from Teresa Teng, "甜蜜蜜" - Tian Mi Mi.

This a-cappella band had never failed to amazed me. Begins from their short performances during the tree planting ceremony and the welcoming dinner, I am looking forward to their performances and seeking for more and more surprised that they would gave to the audience. To be frank, I had high expectation on them and they did not disappointed me and whereas haven't failed to impress the crowd too. The crowd just love them much and on that moment we knew that music knows no language barrier. It just gets people close together. They ended it well for the first night of Borneo Jazz. 

Second night, we will be flying you across the globe with more global line-up which were more mesmerizing. At least I am mesmerized with some of the performers. I just can't get my eyes off them. Having this feeling of keeping eye on them every second without blinking in case I would have miss out anything. YES, you read me right. They were truly that good and awesome!!

YK Samarinda from Indonesia first on stage for the second day performance. The first band to have wear their traditional clothing and playing their traditional instrument which we named it "sape" locally. I always had this perception that traditional music used to be boring and dull BUT once again this band proves me all wrong and TOTALLY WRONG! I was just astonished with the sound that comes out from the string of the instrument could be such soothing. Totally changes my perception. Did I not mentioned that they were not the last to have their folk instrument? We have yet another band in queue which fly their instrument all the way from Georgia.

Coming back to this neighbour country group, they just got every single human amazed. It was something new and totally different, especially to the foreign tourists. Whether it is now and then, fusion or genuine, such music will never failed to melts someone heart. It was just too mesmerizing!

Did you missed out the line where I mentioned that there's another group with folk instrument? You did? Then fret not as they are coming in right now. Iriao a band from Georgia, an ethno-jazz band fully equipped with folk instrument. All these instruments will be conducted by David Kavtaradze. Having with him are Doli - a local Georgia drum, Salamuri - a flute-like of Georgian wind instruments and last but not least I think it is look alike Panduri instrument. (correct me if I get it wrong)

The music blow out and reaches the microphone then to our ears, to me it is something sharp and plain. I do not have a proper word that I could described but it is something good for sure. It is something genuine without much complex mixture. I guess that is why he need a few of them instead of just one of it to perform. It is definitely not something like what a normal drum these days or a guitar can replaced. Just like "sape" the sound is something original and irreplaceable. 

I have no picky ears. Neither do I have sensitive ears. However, I could definitely say their music is something which you can used to de-stress. You wouldn't feel stress up while listening to it. The crowd enjoyed it, I enjoyed it too. It is in fact false that music don't makes you stress. To me, genre like rock and heavy metal is something I wouldn't understand. That is why the total opposite of it which were performed by Iriao was something that I would easily attached too.

Moving from calming sensation to a grooving stage is like a slight emotional change. Flying over 17 hours abroad, hereby, we gave you a truly jazz singer all the way from United Kingdom, Anthony Strong! The crowd just gone crazy even before he started to sing his lungs out. He is truly no joke and gave an eye opening performances. Once I heard he sang, my heart melts and I'm going to be his fans right on spot. 

With his team, there's a bass violin, saxophone, trumpet and he himself on the piano. This is always what I had in mind and imagination of what jazz music should be. 

He is truly a hilarious and humble man. He interacted with the audience and that makes them including me got insane. His voice is SO SO ASTONISHING! You can feel the groove, beat and also emotion within his voice. We just wouldn't let him stop and the show have to go on and on and on. Audience were requesting more song after another. That's how attractive his voice are. 

Sending away the crowd entertainer, last to perform would be Brassballet from Germany! They are the only band who were musicians and dancers at the same time. Where on earth have you watch such performance before? I would said the band leader, Wassilij Goron do have a creative mind while setting up such band. Thanks to him, we were able to watch   
                                                                               such a splendid and unanticipated performance 
                                                                               from them.

Every single performance were eye catching and mind blowing! I wouldn't expect that their dance move would get so complicated since they are focusing more on instrument. However, they blew me out of space with such synchronise move with their instrument. It just simply blend in them naturally. The crowd just turn the land into their dance floor when the performers invited the crowd to tag along with their singing and moves. I'm once again impressed and admire at the same time. I am truly hoping to see them again. Got my fingers crossed so that they could return for next year jazz festival.

Brassballett acted as the closing blinds for Borneo Jazz with their last performances. However, the night doesn't ended just like that. Despite that it strike midnight, the night is still young and we were moving to the Pavilion with the famous spinner from Traxxfm, DJ Roundhead spinning on the deck. This was slotted in like a dessert which shall be a perfect ending for a music festival.

This is newly slotted programme for Borneo Jazz Festival. On going at the same time was the jamming session with the musicians at Ruai Lounge which I did not managed to cover. The dance floor just heated up naturally when DJ Roundhead hit the bass. You won't be able to refuse to move your hips even you know nothing about dancing. It just move naturally with the beat!

The whole festival was a blast!  It was a night changing perception towards Jazz ever since I attended it. I had so much fun and I bet everyone there that night had fun too. The old Jazz I had in mind is always calming, slow and relaxing. It was nothing close to what I had attended for the Borneo Jazz Festival, that brings so much fun! I would definitely attend it for the coming years and I finally know why people keep coming back for it. 

Last but not least, once again I would like to thank all who had involved, directly or indirectly. Glad to know each and everyone of you. I am hoping to see everyone next year! Adios~

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