Kuala Lumpur will play host to some of the modern jazz world’s greats, as well as established local jazz talents, when the Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival 2012 (KLIJF) kicks off from May 19 to 20, 2012 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
The first of its kind in West Malaysia, the 2-day festival is jointly organized by KL International Jazz Sdn Bhd (KLIJ) and Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), under the patronage of the Honourable Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail.
At a press conference held on 27 April, 2012, KLIJ Chairman, Maizon Omar said, “The Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival is an exclusive event that brings together on one stage, leading international artistes from all around the world and accomplished local musicians. We can assure jazz music enthusiasts that the show will be a spectacular showcase of talents and music that will leave the audience wanting for more.”
The festival boasts such names as the highly celebrated talent Hiromi Uehara, considered one of the most remarkable pianists of the past half century; National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, Ahmad Jamal; Acid Jazz leaders, British band Incognito led by Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick; Jazz drummer Carl Allen who is also the Artistic Director of Jazz Studies at The Julliard School, New York; Contemporary Jazz Saxophonist Everette Harp, Meg Okura who according to Down Beat Magazine “…mixes a classically trained mastery of strings, piano and drums with quick-witted compositional twist performed with high energy.”; 2-time Grammy Winner Ernie Watts; Singapore’s King of Swing, Jeremy Monteiro; French guitarist, Jeremy Tordjman with Alfio Origlio, Roger Biwandu and Barry Likumawa; Dira Sugandi who will sing with Incognito, Indra Lesmana, Trevor Jala, Dewan Bandaraya Big Band, RTM Jazz Orchestra and many more jazz artists.
Malaysian jazz musicians playing at the festival include the KL Jazz Project led by Hanafie Imam, Patrick Terbrack Quintet, Michael Veerapen with Junji Delfino, Marques Young, John Thomas, world renowned percussionist Steve Thornton and many others.
At the festival, Hiromi will be performing together with acclaimed bassist Anthony Jackson, the inventor of the six-string electric bass and who played on over 3,000 recording sessions, together with Steve Smith on drums. Steve was voted #1 All-Around Drummer five years in a row by readers of Modern Drummer magazine. In 2001, Modern Drummer magazine named Steve as one of the “Top 25 Drummers of All Time”.
KL International Jazz Sdn Bhd (KLIJ), the producer and promoter of the festival, intends the festival to be an annual event that will contribute meaningfully to the development of KL as a world city. “KL has had jazz events before and currently there is a significant jazz movement in the country,” said Maizon Omar, who together with Rodin JS Kumar founded KLIJ. “We believe the country is ready for a festival of this scale. While this Festival is in line with DBKL’s vision of positioning Kuala Lumpur as a world-class city, it also aims to capture the creative and innovative spirit of jazz music and to share this experience with jazz enthusiasts.”
The Festival was launched on 28 December, 2011 at Nerofico, where 4 prominent Malaysian and International jazz acts – the KL Jazz Experimental Project, Hanafie Imam Trio, Michael Veerapen International Trio and the Monteriro-Hasselbach Funk Project – performed to a full house, providing a taste of things to come.
Subsequently, as a prelude to the KLIJF, 6-time Grammy winner saxophonist David Sanborn and his band performed at KLCC on 6 March, 2012. They played to a packed house.
Tickets for the KLIJF range from RM198 – RM598 per day or RM318 – RM998 for the 2-day package. Further information on the programme, ticket prices and other information is available at www.klinternationaljazz.com.