Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Borneo International Guitar Festival to debut in Sabah this October

The Borneo International Guitar Festival or “BIG Festival” will make its debut on the local music scene on the 4th till the 6th of October this year. This was announced recently by the festival’s organizing committee CEO Peter Chua at Novotel Hotel, 1Borneo.

The community driven project aims at creating a learning opportunity for musically inclined youths in Sabah with acclaimed professional players through master classes, guitar competition and workshops, and at the same time providing an avenue for the young to show what creative talents they have.

Internationally well-known guitar performers from five countries will take centre stage at the BIG Concert over the three-day period at the state’s JKKN (National Department for Culture and Arts) Auditorium.

Amongst them is Sheikh Hady Masmeih El Manso, Malaysia Youth Unity Association’s role model for 2011. Popularly known as Hady Afro from Kuala Lumpur this guitarist will share the stage with Australia’s chart-topping guitar maestro Peter Dickson and fast-fingered Tom Ward.

Also lined up for the BIG concert is University Teknologi MARA’s Classical Guitar Senior Lecturer Nathan Fisher. Originally from the United States, Nathan is currently researching the adaptation of traditional Malaysian music to guitar and the traditional Malaysian gambus.

Coming over from Japan is Yuta Tanaka, a guitarist capable of playing complex bass lines, harmony and melody simultaneously. With him on the show is compatriot Pukichi, another highly versatile award winning guitarist.

Joining these guitar virtuosos will be Baihana, a jazz trio consisting of vocalists Krina Cayabyab, Mel Torre and Anna Achacoso from Philippines.

Chua said he is confident that BIG Festival will have a lasting impact in Sabah. He said the performers’ willingness to come and help the organizers develop the festival  without charging any  fees is a positive indication that they fully support the Festival. It will be held in conjunction with the head of state’s birthday programme each year, he added.