As the year picks up momentum, Malaysia welcomes A-list artistes to its shores for its first major wave of concerts of 2020. Against the backdrop of festivals including Chinese New Year, Federal Territories Day and Thaipusam, stages across the Klang Valley will play host to Taiwanese superstar Jay Chou, saxophone legend Kenny G, and Mongolian rock band The Hu.
The curly-haired sax man has become a regular in KL where every one of his performances over the last decade has sold out. The king of smooth jazz and easy listening, Kenneth Bruce Gorelick or Kenny G, has enjoyed an illustrious career that spans over four decades. In that time he has released some of the best-selling instrumental albums of all time, including Duotones in 1986 and Breathless in 1992.
He caught his big break when he was offered a place on Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra in 1973, and then went on to work with countless other big names throughout the 80s and 90s, including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston,Natalie Cole, and Frank Sinatra.
The only thing as recognisable as his mane of curly hair is his signature velvety sound, be it on alto, tenor or soprano sax. He’s also managed to stay relevant throughout the years, as evidenced most recently by his collaboration with Kanye West on the track Use This Gospel. He’ll be playing his best hits at the the Arena of Stars this month.
WHERE Arena of Stars, Resorts World Genting, Pahang
WHEN 8.30pm (16 Feb)
TEL 03 2718 1118
Bridging the gap between traditional Mongolian music and upfront Western metal, The Hu has recently been making venues quake beneath its wall of sound. ‘Hannu Rock’ has taken the world by storm and the four-piece from Ulaanbaatar are currently on tour in America with a highly anticipated appearance at Coachella this April.
The band is the brainchild of producer B Dashdondog who wanted to forge a sound that didn’t merely imitate western rock but brought something much fresher. He handpicked the members who chose the band name (‘Hu’ being the root word for human being in Mongolian), and they began experimenting until they hit on a sound that worked.
The members deliver their vocals in the ancient art of khoomei or throat singing – a deep guttural sound that’s perfectly suited to metal – while they play instruments such as the morin khuur (a two-stringed, horse-head fiddle), the tuvshuur (a Mongolian guitar) and thetumor khuur (a jaw harp). Coupled with slashing electric guitars and pounding western drums, the resul is something totally unique and definitely warrants a listen.
Check out songs Wolf Totem and Yuve Yuve Yu on YouTube, which have racked up a combined 50 million views, to see what these guys are about. Meanwhile the band’s debut album The Gereg dropped just a few months ago and opened at No 1 on Billboard’s Top New Artist chart.
The Hu are set to rock out The Bee on the last day of this month, a show that is sure to rumble the foundations of the venue!
Rockaway Showcase Presents The Hu
WHERE The Bee Publika, Kuala Lumpur
WHEN 7pm (29 Feb)
More music royalty touches down in KL this month as the Time magazine-dubbed New King of ‘Asian Pop’ Jay Chou takes over Bukit Jalil National Stadium for his 20th anniversary Carnival World Tour. The show promises to be a visual feast that incorporates cutting-edge technology including hundreds of transparent LED screens, a giant ‘energy ball’ that will float through the venue, and the latest in lighting rigs.
‘President Chou’ as he’s known by fans made his debut in 2000 and has since been an unstoppable force in the Mandopop scene. His ‘Chou Style’ of production often blends together pop, rap, blues and other world music with traditional Chinese instrumentation, coupled with his trademark slurred enunciation and singing. Chou’s acting career has also seen tremendous success, having made his Hollywood debut in 2011’s The Green Hornet, and as if that isn’t enough, he also manages his own record and management company JVR Music.
The Carnival World Tour promises to take audiences on an epic journey covering his 14-album discography, bound together with dazzling choreography and effects.
Jay Chou Carnival World Tour – Kuala Lumpur
WHERE Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Kuala Lumpur
WHEN 8pm (29 Feb)
TEL 03 2718 1118