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Jazzuality Jakarta: Jazz Rainbow Over the KL Sky

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Kuala Lumpur (KL) did it again! Following the success of the first attempt in 2012,KL International Jazz Sdn. Bhd supported by  Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), under the patronage of the Honourable Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Yang Berbahagia Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib made another huge jazz blast through the second edition of KL International Jazz Festival in 2013 (KLIJF 2013).Eventhough it had to be rescheduled due to the General Elections, the KLIJF 2013 still managed to present the combination of acclaimed international jazz stars and the best local talent, just like what they have been aiming from the start. The bright light, big metropolitan city of Kuala Lumpur went swinging and bopping high for one day full on September 14, 2013. Located at the University of Malaya, the committee placed 4 stages to hold no less than 28 bands. Each of the band rested their case one after another. Some played sweet, some went wild. There were bands who opened up a new musical dimension by crafting new ‘hybrids’, some other played their original compositions and some showed their creativity by re-arranging well known jazz repertoires. The festival combined international legends, the ‘tops’ of the game and some of the most potential local talents. It was a jazz-vaganza served ellegantly. New place, new spirit, we’re excited and glad to be able to watch every perfomance and more than happy to cover this fest up for you.

KL International Jazz Festival is next week

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A slew of international acts confirmed for the Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival, happening next weekend.

IT’S going to be one big carnival when the second Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival (KLIJF) takes place at the Universiti Malaya grounds on Sept 14.

Jazz aficionados can expect a convergence of contemporary jazz, smooth jazz, straight ahead jazz, classic jazz, jazz rock, R&B, swing, funk, classic rock and blues. More than 100 musicians are expected to perform at the annual event, billed as Malaysia’s biggest jazz festival.

Headliners at the festival are contemporary jazz guitarist and Grammy-award winner Lee Ritenour, and alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, who has been creating ripples in the scene with his brand of fusion jazz.

While Ritenour needs no introduction, Mahanthappa is an Italian-born, Canadian-raised, US-residing Indian musician who mixes various genres of music (predominantly Indian) and combines them with the language of jazz to create new form, which is still recognisably jazz.

Other international acts slated to perform at the one day event include saxophonist Jessy J, ex-Billy Cobham guitarist Carl Orr from London; progressive jazz rock fusion groups The Subterraneans from Sydney and Kazutoki Umezu Kiki Band from Tokyo; R&B musician eZra Brown from New York and South African vocalist cum songwriter Zamajobe.

Homegrown talents performing include veterans Jose Thomas and Jordan Rivers, who are familiar faces in the industry. Others include Cats In Love, UiTM Jazz Ensemble, UCSI Contemporary Ensemble, Ballads & Blues, John Thomas Trio and John Dip Silas.

One of the festival highlights is a jazz tribute to the legendary P. Ramlee by The UM Big band led by director of Universiti Malaya’s Cultural Centre Professor Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim.

To go with the music, there will be booths offering art exhibits, good food, fashion, eco products, kids zone and a hot air balloon show.

The KLIJF takes place from 11am to midnight on Sept 14. Festival Village entry tickets are priced at RM60 while All Excess tickets start from RM138. All Excess ticket holders are entitled to the village stages as well as all indoor shows at Dewan Tunku Chancellor. Tickets are available from or by calling 03-7725 1177. Log on to for more information.

News Straits Times: Jazz at UM

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JAZZ guitarist Lee Ritenour and saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa will headline the KL International Jazz Festival 2013 on Sept 14.

To be held at Universiti Malaya from 11am to midnight, other international acts slated to perform at the event include Jessy J, Carl Orr, The Subterraneans, Kazutoki Umezu Kiki Band, Ezra Brown and Zamajobe.

More than 100 musicians from North America, Europe, Australia, Iran, Japan, South Africa, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia are expected to perform at the one-day festival, which will also feature the university’s Big Band, led by its cultural centre director Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim paying A Jazz Tribute To P. Ramlee.

New Straits Times: SHOWBIZ: Jazz hall of fame in KL

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One of the biggest names in jazz today is Lee Ritenour, an American guitarist who has recorded more than 40 albums and co-founded (with Bob James) the group Fourplay.

Another big name is Japanese jazz pianist Keiko Matsui who has recorded more than 20 albums, likewise alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahantappa from the United States who absorbs numerous musical genres and creates his own distinctive sound.

And lastly, there are soulful singers Nicole Henry and Lisa Simone Kelly, whose mother was the late great Nina Simone.

These are among the major names who will be jazzing up Kuala Lumpur on April 27-30 at the KL International Jazz Festival 2013.

In its second year, it will be held at Universiti Malaya from 11am to midnight daily. It is organised by KL International Jazz and supported by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall with Mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib as its patron.

The impressive line-up comprises 35 international and 65 local acts, making it the federal capital’s largest jazz event to date. Organising chairman Maizon Omar says: “Jazz enthusiasts and music lovers will get a taste of various jazz genres such as straight-ahead jazz, Latin jazz, smooth and contemporary jazz, and jazz rock among others.

“We will have four outdoor and two indoor music stages, plus art exhibitions, the Earth Day Run and a climb of Gunung Nuang in Hulu Langat.”

All About Jazz: KL International Jazz Festival 2012

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The 19th and 20th of May, 2012 will long be remembered by jazz lovers in Kuala Lumpur as the day jazz came to town. The 13 acts that performed on the stage of the KL Convention Center made history by inaugurating the KL International Jazz Festival. For those attending, feelings were of pride and a certain sense of relief that, finally, this great Asian metropolis was hosting an international jazz festival. After all, if PenangMiri and Kota Kinabalu can all stage jazz festivals, then why not the Malaysian capital?

News Straits Times: All That Jazz

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Music jazzes up Kuala Lumpur this April with the second edition of the KL International Jazz Festival, now stretching over four days from April 27. It’s not just performances by world-class artistes but the festival will also offer workshops and master classes at the main venue, the University of Malaya, which sits in the heart of the capital city. So far, 30 artistes — running the gamut from Grammy winners to homegrown talents — will participate in the four-day event.

News Straits Times: It’s jazz sheer genius

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SKILFUL. Spontaneous. Stylish. A legend jazzed up Kuala Lumpur recently and the audience packed the hall for this once-in-a-lifetime moment.

Ahmad Jamal befitted the late-night top billing at the inaugural 2012 Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival which ended recently.

He is a recipient of the American National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honour bestowed on jazz artistes by the United States.

He sat on the left side of the stage, facing the wings and not the band. Somehow, he managed to direct the way the music flowed, be it on percussion, drums or bass. The music flowed or marched at times. The most improvised was the jazz standard, Invitation. Sometimes, Jamal paraphrased one part of the melody which then segued into a whole new line, all with a finger pointed or a nod.

News Straits Times: UP & DOWN BEATS: In the mood for jazz

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LOTS of jazz fans were dazzled when they saw the list of performers billed in this weekend’s Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival 2012. They should: The legendary Ahmad Jamal, piano phenomenon Hiromi Uehara backed by the indomitable Anthony Jackson on the six-string bass which he pioneered and Ernie Watts.

Of course, in any jazz fest, it is impossible to put together a multi-star act so the idea is to back them with credible players with several outstanding local performers.

It’s been a while since KL has organised a jazz festival of this magnitude, so by the time you read my fortnightly column, you would have been entertained thoroughly by the likes of Dewan Bandaraya Big Band, Patrick Terbrack Quartet,

The Star: Jazz edge

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The KL International Jazz Festival leads the charge to revive the Klang Valley’s interest in this diverse music genre.

LEGENDARY American pianist/composer Ahmad Jamal (aka Frederick Russell Jones) is the sort of heritage act to lift the profile of any jazz festival.

Ahmad (a man even Miles Davis credited as a big influence) is one of the headlining acts for the two-day KL International Jazz Festival (KLIJF) at the Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on May 19-20.

The 81-year-old musician, who is nearly as old as jazz itself, remains a true jazz ambassador with an active touring and recording career.

Ahmad keeps himself busy on the road with a steady supply of European jazz festival engagements. He will be making a rare appearance in Asia as he closes the inaugural KLIJF this Sunday with an inspired backing group, which includes Herlin Riley (drums) and the acclaimed Manolo Badrena on Latin percussion.

The Star: Jumpin’ jazz flash

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The KL International Jazz Festival is set to revive the Klang Valley’s interest in this fast-moving festival bandwagon.

LEGENDARY American pianist/composer Ahmad Jamal (aka Frederick Russell Jones) is the sort of heritage jazz act to light up any jazz festival stage that he graces. The 81-year-old, who is nearly as old as the jazz genre itself, remains as zestful as they come and he is a true jazz ambassador with an active touring and recording career.

The Star: Jazz festival intends to grow a new audience with the help of corporations

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THE KL International Jazz Festival 2012 (KLIJF), which makes its debut at the Plenary Hall, KL Convention Centre from May 19-20, is rolling out a unique opportunity for corporations to get involved in sponsoring students and giving them the opportunity to experience the festival.

“Outside the regular jazz fans, we definitely want the new generation of music fans to have contact and be exposed to this far-reaching, all-encompassing music genre. We want to cultivate a fresh interest in jazz in Kuala Lumpur and the many diverse forms that the genre represents,” said KLIJF chairman Maizon Omar at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur recently.

“It’s not just a festival, it is a long-term project to engage the music community in Kuala Lumpur and be a platform to raise the capital’s profile on the international stage,” she added.

The Genius Package, which is part of the festival’s outreach programme, is a novel way for corporations to allign themselves with the KLIJF and the music genre itself.

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