The syncopated measures. The strong but flexible rhythmic understructures. The improvisational flair and the swinging blue notes. This is the art of jazz. And yet, in spite of all these characteristics, this musical style has a certain indefinable quality. Ironically, this may be its most defining feature. And finally now, Malaysia is honouring the art form with the inaugural 2012 KL International Jazz Festival slated for 19 and 20 May at the Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
The festival will feature a slew of worldclass jazz performers, both international and local, for some of the finest performances the country has ever witnessed. It’s not every day we have jazz artists of this calibre landing on our shores, therefore making this a highly anticipated and unique event. Good jazz clubs are few and far between, with venues like Alexis and No Black Tie taking the lead as the top haunts in the country. To have the Plenary Hall graced by some of the most coveted jazz performers in the world is a real treat.
Jazz aficionados will be quivering with excitement at the prospect of seeing artists like Anthony Jackson tear out on his signature six-string Fodera bass, or Steve Smith, legendary drummer of rock band Journey, who has worked with hundreds of artists across the musical board and is as versatile as it gets. Stepping up will also be piano virtuoso Hiromi Uehara, who blends together rock, classical and post-bop in explosive, unpredictable live performances (check out her Tom & Jerry Show on YouTube), and Ahmad Jamal, who has been instrumental in the development of jazz from the 1940s, a true innovator of the art who began playing piano at the age of three, and has toured for almost five decades. He graces the stage at the Plenary Hall for a sure-to-beunforgettable performance.
These only represent some of the artists performing over the two-day festival, and with such a star-studded line-up and ticket prices starting at RM398 for the whole weekend, you can’t get a better offer. The Plenary Hall will stage this unprecedented jazz event, the lavish yet intimate surroundings of which perfectly complement the balance and form of this most distinctive of musical styles. Head over to KLCC for a jazzed-up weekend.
2012 KL International Jazz Festival