Borneo Jazz Festival slated for June 24-26

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MIRI: One of Southeast Asia’s longest running international jazz festivals – Borneo Jazz festival – is back once again, bringing musicians of diverse cultural backgrounds together to celebrate jazz music and empower the local community.

This year, the festival’s 17th edition is returning to proper live events after two years of producing virtual ones.

In announcing this on Wednesday, Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said this year’s event will be staged from June 24-26 both in a hybrid format and physical concert which be held at Coco Cabana Miri,” he said.

During the three-day event, Karim disclosed that online viewers can also livestream performances from their homes via an online platform.

Concert-goers who miss the feel of the physical concert can come together in mutual appreciation of jazz music, and those around the world can enjoy jazz music live from Miri in the comfort of their own homes, he added.

With the theme Jazz in the Jungle, this year’s Borneo Jazz is about rejuvenating the jazz scene while being surrounded by the wonders of nature that is in abundance in Miri, the gateway to Northern Sarawak.

“As we all know, artistes and musicians have all been affected by the lockdowns, so Borneo Jazz festival serves as the perfect platform to rejuvenate, rediscover, rekindle and rebuild the jazz connection that was interrupted for the past two years,” he added.

The hybrid concert is the best way to go this year based on the positive response we have received from the Borneo Jazz Virtual Experience last year in 2021, Karim pointed out.

The Borneo Jazz Virtual Experience 2021 garnered 244,637 online viewers from 43 countries.

“This year, we hope to have a wider outreach to international audiences encompassing more countries,” he said.

Karim also announced that Malaysia Airlines will be official airline for the event.

“We hope that with this collaboration, which is also a continuation of the Malaysia Aviation Group’s (MAG) partnership with STB, more music fans will have the rewarding experience of enjoying live world-class performances,” he asserted.

This year, there will be performers from USA, Hungary, Singapore, France, Malaysia and more, showcasing an array of various musical styles, featuring over 60 performers.

Among them are notable names such as DJ Estephe, Alemay Fernandez, Richard Jackson, Masia One, Afro Asia, Asiabeat and many more.
It will also feature performances by the winners of the nationwide Borneo Jazz Talent Search launched on April 1 for DJ, Jazz and Open categories.

Together with Borneo Jazz Festival Fab Lab 2022, aspiring musicians will be given the chance to grow their musical talent alongside renowned local and international artistes while also contributing to the growth of Miri as the region’s jazz centre.

The Borneo Jazz Talent Search, which the festival introduced in 2018, is part of the festival’s musical outreach programme to provide a unique opportunity for aspiring musicians aged between 15-30 years old to showcase their talents on an international stage.

Currently, there are already 28 entries from Sarawak, Sabah, and Kalimantan for the talent search before the closing date at the end of this month.

Another important element in this year’s Borneo Jazz is a first-ever musical collaboration between Sarawak Tourism Board and Sarawak Symphony Orchestra (SONS) under Sarawak Arts Council (SAC) who will be presenting Sarawak’s own jazz flavours, opening the three-day show with the aim to lift Sarawak’s local music scene.

SONS, Sarawak’s premier symphony orchestra, was founded in the 1980s with the mission to nurture, develop and promote classical music across cultures consisting of 35 musicians from diverse backgrounds.

Jazz music lovers can start purchasing tickets for Borneo Jazz starting Friday (April 22) from the website jazzborneo.com.
Tickets for 1-Day, 2-Day and 3-Day passes for the physical event are available online at Borneo Jazz’s official website. For those who want to enjoy Borneo Jazz virtually, tickets are priced at RM25 per one-hour block.

For more information on Borneo Jazz festival 2022, log on to its official website.

In adherence to the guidelines of MKN and Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to ensure the safety of the physical concert-goers, only a maximum capacity of 1,000 people is allowed per night throughout the 3-day jazz festival.

With only 3,000 tickets available, this is even the more reason for music fans to quickly grab the physical concert tickets before it is too late.

Also present at the press conference were Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and performing Arts (Tourism) Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew, STB chairman Dennis Ngau cum Telang Usan Assemblyman, STB’s chief executive officer Sharzede Datu Salleh Askor, Chief Operating Officer of MASwings representing Malaysia Aviation Group Captain Nasaruddin A Bakar and Stephanie Kuan representing artistic director No Black Tie Presents.

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