Sunday, July 09, 2017

Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival to bring together melting pot of musical talents

KOTA KINABLU: The 11th edition of the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival will kick off on Friday, July 21, for a two-night show, promising world-class entertainment by local and international acts alike.

Staged against the picturesque backdrop of the city, the festival intends to bring together a melting pot of musical talents from the world over, to an estimated strong crowd of 4,000.

Organising chairperson Rotarian Jack Ong said that this year, the committee aimed to bring something special to the table in terms of performers.

Along with co-organising chairperson and Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (SPArKS) president Roger Wang, Jack came up with the idea to involve artists that began their musical journey on the jazz festival stage.

“Roger and I came up with this idea to mark our achievements and the achievements of these performers.

“We decided to look back on artists who have performed on the jazz festival stage when they were starting out in their careers, most of whom are locals.”

Roger added that the committee rounded up as many jazz festival-bred local artists as they could, while actively searching for new homegrown talent.

“Every year, we conduct a talent search where we scout for performers at local watering holes to give them a chance to perform at the jazz festival.

“We want to give them the thrill of performing for a large crowd and we believe it’s important to do this, as a number of jazz bands started from the talent search,” he said.

Jack added that the committee and the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu (RCKK) also worked closely with schools to identify new talent, revealing that the winner of this year’s Bakat Interact competition from SM St Francis Convent would open the show on Friday night.

During a media launch, Jack told the press that proceeds from ticket sales would continue to be channelled towards funding community projects led by RCKK.

Some projects funded by the festival through the years include provision of clear water, literacy programmes, avoidable blindness campaigns for early eye disease detection and free medical services for rural communities, environment protection programmes and construction of boarding homes for rural students.

RCKK president Dr Ravi Mandalam said that the club would continue with their efforts in the avoidable blindness campaign, which had been sharpened and gained more focus in the last two years.