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Jazz Unites

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Happy International Jazz Day 2020… In the spirit of Jazz, let’s all give peace, diplomacy and hope a chance.

A year ago, on 30th April 2019, Kinda Blue opened its doors in the city of Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with the International Jazz Day 2019, joining the ranks with other Jazz clubs and venues all over the world to celebrate this significant day. Today the world is different. Covid-19 has shown that we are fragile and we are frightened. Our vulnerabilities exposed, boundaries, languages and cultures do not matter. The world will never be the same.

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Makoto Yoshimori

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Makoto Yoshimori (Pianist,Composer)
Currently based in Tokyo, Makoto Yoshimori is a pianist and composer. He has played in various bands spanning different genres over the years while being a solo pianist as well. Being an avid composer, he composes a lot of music especially soundtracks for Japanese animation, various films and television drama.

For the 2019 edition, he will be playing alongside Kazutoki Umezu.

Kazutoki Umezu

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Kazutoki Umezu (Alto sax ,Soprano sax ,Clarinet ,Bass Clarinet)

Umezu is one of the most important reed players in the world.
He is not only a well-known jazz master, but also a great improvisor to collaborate with.

Born 1949 in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture.
He played in New York City, from 1974 to 1975 with many valuable musicians.
After he returned to Japan he formed Jazz orchestra ” Seikatsu Kojo Iinkai “and “Doctor Umezu Band “.

He recently formed 2 different band.
One is the unique jazz-rock band “Kazutoki Umezu KIKI BAND” and another is the acoustic band that was based Klezmer ” Komatcha Klezmer”.

Other hand he plays with many different tips of music with so many different musicians or dancers. Improvisation, Rock, Jazz,Folk etc.
And he compose the music for film too.

Recording works of solo projects and projects led by Umezu total 40.

For the 2019 edition of the Festival, Umezu will be playing together with Makoto Yoshimori.


By | KLIJAF 2019 | No Comments

Featuring Vj on Drums, Rodin on Bass, Chris Ong on Lead Guitars and Kyle on Guitars, this band plays a selection of Blues and Rock songs. The members of the band have been playing together since 2013, with additional band members being featured for selected shows.

Kinda Blue Quartet

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The Kinda Blue Quartet is comprises of the resident band members of the Kinda Blue Jazz Club & Restaurant. Featuring Vj on Drums, Rodin on Bass and Dodong on Piano, Keys and Synths, the band plays a repertoire comprising both Jazz Standards and a special selection of Jazz Songs.

Depending on the mood and the song selections, either a saxophonist or a trumpeter is then added to the band.

For the 2019 edition of the Festival,“Jeng” Watchara from Thailand will be accompanying the band on Trumpets.

Watchara Atchariyavaranon ‘Jeng’

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Watchara Atchariyavaranon ‘Jeng’ (b. 1988) is one of the most renowned jazz trumpeters in Thailand. He graduated from Mahidol University, College of Music (B.Mus) and Master of music in Jazz studies at Mahidol.

Jeng’s musical journey began Montfort College Chiang Mai, where he began to play the trumpet the first year of his middle school. An opportunity to join “SAYOWE”(South East Asian Youth Orchestra and Wind Ensemble music camp) cemented his mind to pursue music as a career. Since then he has won several accolades such as 1st Prize in the KPN Band Competition in 2004 and being a finalist in the Thailand International Jazz Competition in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

As a performer, Jeng has performed with the Mahidol Wind Symphony, Mahidol Jazz Orchestra, Root Man Band, Siam Cubano, Dixielogy, Smith Big Band, Siam Jazz Orchestra and ETC. He is also an active recording artist for commercials and television music in Thailand with Wild at Heart Co, Ltd.

As an educator, Jeng has taught at the Music Campus for General Public (Siam Paragon) and St. Andrews Samakee International School. He is currently the Brass Jazz instructor and Big Band conductor at Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University.

For the 2019 editionl of the Festival, he will be playing with the Kinda Blue Quartet.

James Ryan

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Saxophonist, composer, flutest and band leader. 

James is the leader of award winning band ‘The Subterraneans’ and 15 piece ‘Sonic Mayhem Orchestra’. He has released 7 albums under his own name, The Subterraneans and Sonic Mayhem Orchestra. He has toured extensively throughout Australia, India and Europe.
At the age of 23 he was the first person to graduate from an Australian university with a Masters of Music majoring in jazz.
He has held teaching positions at The Australian National University, Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University.
James has performed with The Sydney Symphony Orchestra, George Benson and The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra amongst many, many other musicians and groups.
For the 2019 edition of the Festival, James Ryan will be playing with the Kinda Blue Quartet.

Lewis Pragasam

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Lewis Pragasam is one of the most highly-regarded musicians to emerge from Asia. He is considered virtually an
icon in his homeland and has been hailed as a music legend in Asia. He has garnered international critical acclaim
as one of Asia’s leading percussionists and an innovator of new trends in world music. Lewis is the founder and
moving spirit of the pioneering Asiabeat project, started in 1979, whose recordings and performances are now
legendary in the merging of Asian and Western musical styles.

The Asiabeat project has 5 recordings released worldwide since 1982, namely: Asiabeat, Dare To Dream, Spirit
Of The People, Drumusique 
(live) and Monsoon. The project under Lewis’ leadership has toured/performed in
festivals all over the world including the Hong Kong Arts Festival, Perth Festival of Music and Nigata Cultural Festival

He has toured, performed and/or recorded with many internationally renowned artistes – Paul Jackson, Tony Levin,
Billy Cobham, Jeff Berlin, Ernie Watts, Andy Sheppard, Randy Bernsen, David Mann, Anthony Curits, Randy
Crawford, John ‘Kaizan’ Neptune, Bob James, Ottmar Liebert, Torninho Horta amongst others. Lewis has performed
at major festivals around the world including a Royal Command Performance for HRH The Prince of Wales, Prince
Charles (Prince Trust Concert) in Edinburgh.

He has produced and organized numerous percussion festivals all over South East Asia working with various
percussion exponents/groups – Steve Thornton, Yaya Diallo, Pete Lockett, Shanxi Drummers, ‘Parry Pan’s’ Steel
Drum Orhestra, ‘Tokyo Dagaki’ Taiko ensemble, Guru Karakkudi R. Mani, ‘Guardians of the Flame’ Mardi Gras
Indians, ‘Tepak Rampak’ Drum Ensemble of Indonesia, Drum Drum & the Siale Dancers and many other
percussion ensembles from South East Asia.

Lewis also travels extensively conducting drum and percussion clinics/workshops. His ‘Trash’ percussion group
perform and conduct workshops for children utilizing recyclable material to make interesting percussion instruments.
Pragasam received the prestigious ‘Fulbright Scholarship’ from the US government in 1990. He served as ‘Artiste In
Residence’ at East Carolina University, NC, as well as lecturing at various academic institutions all over the US.

He has recently published a series of methods for learning drum styles with Mel Bay entitled “Drum Talk.

Gina Panizales

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Exposed to many genres of music while growing up in the Philippines, singing has been a part of her for as long as she can remember. From a tender age, she has spent her life learning and enjoying anything music has to offer.

She started out with pop music and eventually evolved with Jazz, Blues, R&B and Broadway. She believes that the key to being a successful singer is the ability to listen to others and to oneself and be honest with what you hear.

Her performances has taken her to many parts of Asia and the world. She is privileged to have performed with some of the top-notch jazz artistes, both locally (East and West Malaysia) and overseas.

Presently based in Malaysia, she’s performed with some of the top notch musicians like Asiabeat (led by Lewis Pragasam), Face First (with Greg Lyons), Aztec Jam (with Stuart Henderson), Jungle Jazz (with Dodong Jumawan), the Solianos, Michael Veerapen, David Gomez, Jose Mari Chan just to name a few.

She is also the regular vocalist for the Malaysia Airlines jazz band.

Her influences include the greats like Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee, Diane Schuur, Diane Reeves, Etta James, Sarah Vaughn, Cole Porter, Gershwin as well as a wide genre of music such as fusion, acid jazz and big bands. She has a strong inclination to vocal groups and Latin music, having Spanish as part of her heritage.

She has released 2 albums : “FINALLY Gina Panizales” – A contemporary mix of Jazz, Latin and R &B released on April 2008 under Multinum Entertainment and “Love’s Tapestry” – an acoustic remake of of 70’s & 80’s love songs released on November 2009 under Poppopmusic.

For the 2019 edition of the Festival, Gina will be singing her repertoire of songs with the Kinda Blue Quartet.


Torfan Dilokvidhyarat

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Mr.Torfan Dilokvidhyarat is a 30 year old native of Bangkok, Thailand. He started to play drums at the age of 11 with Italian drummer, Massimo Duracio in high school. He went to the College of Music at Mahidol University for Jazz.

He won the first prize in Thailand Jazz Competition #4 with “Jazz Sahapon” band. After the college Mr. Torfan has had opportunities to play with many Jazz/Pop artists around Bangkok. He was invited to be part of “Batam Jazz Festival” in Indonesia with the band “Intersect 3+1” in 2008. He also played drums for “Preaw Kanitkul”, Thailand’s famous pop singer. Recently he has had opportunities to play with the “Dida Pelled Trio”, an upcoming young guitarist from New York and play with many other Jazz musicians around Bangkok.


He also has his own indie band called “Sasi” which was nominated for “Up and  Coming Artist” at “Season Awards” in 2017. Now, he has many projects such as “Beagle Hug” band ,  “Midnight Children” band, “Scoutland” band and his own drums solo project “Torphan” .

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