Saturday, 14 September 2019

Thousands expected at jazz festival

THE majestic Sarawak River sets the scene for the third edition of the Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival (KWJF) where thousands are expected to gather at the Waterfront Walkway of the Grand Margherita Hotel, Kuching, this Sept 27 and 28.

Well-known among jazz lovers and music enthusiasts from across South-East Asia, some of the performers at the KWJF this year include Malaysian songstress Ning Baizura, Harvey Malaihollo and Saxx in the City from Indonesia, Dave Brewer and the DooDaddies (Australia), Sitti Navarro (the Philippines) and Dawn Wong and the Shanghai Jazz Club (Singapore).

Sarawakian artistes include Z Yan, Ushera, Xanaduduo, Q Sound, Nisa Addina and Swaiv.

KWJF 2019 was launched by Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah in May.

This highly popular festival is expected to continue the success of its two previous editions, which had made a positive impact on Sarawak’s tourism industry.

Abdul Karim expects KWJF 2019 to be even grander than the two previous series, which saw about 4,000 visitors each year.

The festival is organised by the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) through its commercial unit Grand Margherita Hotel. The event also receives full support from the Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry, as well as Sarawak Tourism Board (STB).

According to STB chief executive officer Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor, “KWJF is one of Sarawak’s popular festivals, which has boosted Sarawak’s popularity as a destination for music events.

The state is internationally renowned for its key music festivals and fringe events.

“In July, we had three iconic music festivals which were held back-to-back.

“This started with the Rainforest Fringe Festival in Kuching leading up to the Rainforest World Music Festival at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Damai and followed by the Borneo Jazz Festival in Miri.”

Sharzede added, “Sarawak clearly identifies with music, arising from the wide range of sounds and traditional instruments of our diverse ethnic groups and cultures.

“These music festivals not only help to boost tourism, but also provide platforms for locals to showcase their talents, thereby creating socio-economic impact for local communities.”

As part of the fringe activities for KWJF 2019, five local bands were selected to compete in the KWJF Jazz Band Search talent competition held in July, with the winning band getting a slot to perform at KWJF 2019.

This is part of the effort to nurture local jazz talents and give them a chance to perform alongside renowned local and international artistes at the festival.

The two-day event is not only a series of soulful and vibrant jazz performances, but will also feature specialty workshops and a curated bazaar of food and beverages besides arts and crafts, making it a family-friendly event for all ages.

It is a free-standing event with several screens and lounge areas throughout the festival grounds.

Performer line-up and ticket purchase information are available on and KWJF FB page.
-thestar online.

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