Monday, July 27, 2015

The best ever KK Jazz Festival to date

KOTA KINABALU: If the first night of the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival (KKJF) was mesmerizing, the second night was nothing short of scintillating.

With an estimated 4,000 people in attendance over both nights, the ninth edition of this glittery event might just be the best one ever.

“We have the most fabulous trumpeter, a great line-up of performers and fans came out in full force. After nine years, I think jazz has finally arrived in Kota Kinabalu,” said organising chairperson Jack Ong.

Also present on the second night of the festival was Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.

“I think the standard is getting better and better every year, and the crowd is growing as well,”said Masidi, when asked to comment on the event.

“KKJF is fast becoming an event which is widely known in this part of the world. My hope is that it will eventually become the premier jazz festival in this region and I’m sure it can, one day.”

He also commended the efforts of the joint organisers, the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu (RCKK) and the Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu (SPArKS).

“I think they’ve done a wonderful job, considering that all of them are volunteers. This is something that all of us in Sabah should be very proud of. The fact that they are able to attract quality performers indicates their confidence.”

Masidi wrapped up his statement by saying:“Tourism is one aspect, but the most important thing is the Sabahans’ ability to organise something of a world-class standard, and I think we are moving towards that.”

The first night of the festival saw outstanding performances by local and international talents alike, namely, Faizul Sany and The Hybrid, Headhunters and of course, the legendary Bobby Taylor.

It certainly raised the bar for the second night, but what unfolded exceeded all expectations.

Suria Buskers set the stage with their mixture of various genres, consisting of world music, pop and rhythm and blues, just to name a few. This highly experienced group of professional musicians, comprising of bands from Sandakan boasted a catalogue of music styles that best complemented the event.

Following Suria Buskers was Eilvane Chang, who is no stranger to the KKJF stage. Returning for the second time around, Eilvane reminded the crowd why they fell in love with her in the first place, displaying exceptionally smooth vocals and a repertoire the audience adored.

Eilvane, who is of the opinion that jazz is“one of the best genres out there,” shared her views on why it is an important genre to upkeep.

“To me, jazz is like an expression of life,”said Eilvane.“The thing about jazz is that everything is so unstructured; nothing is really set in stone. That’s kind of the way life is. Everything just happens and we make improvisations along the way. The same thing goes for jazz. It’s the best expression of life, in a musical way.”