‘By The Youth, With The Youth, For The Youth, Beyouthiful’ – so goes the tagline of the World Youth Jazz Festival (WYJF), held in Malaysia annually since 2012. Organised by the World Youth Festivals Management, which employs young volunteers aside from its own resources, the event is acknowledged as the largest youth-oriented jazz festival on the globe.
WYJF resulted from a combined effort between the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Jazz Community Malaysia (JAZZCOMM), which saw the first edition at Dataran Gemilang, Putrajaya.
Though the venue of the typically May affair has changed following then – Karangkraf Ampitheatre (2013), Putrajaya International Convention Centre (2014), Jalan Mesui (2015), Dataran Merdeka (2016), TREC KL (2017), and SHOOK KL and Auditorium DBKL (2018) – its primary focus has not. Backed heavily by jazz elders, WYJF regularly pulls in the cream of the young international jazz crop.
This year, WYJF transpires at Panggung Anniversari and No Black Tie, with a slew of acts secured over the three days.
Kicking things off at the open-air amphitheatre set in the Perdana Botanical Garden that is Panggung Anniversari at 8pm on Friday (3 May) is the WYJF opening, which consists of an album launch by local band Margasatwa. As the night goes on, Kontra Local (Malaysia), 5petani (Indonesia) and the Michal Martyniuk Quartet (Poland) take the stage in succession.
Meanwhile, at No Black Tie on Jalan Mesui in Bukit Bintang, three acts are to perform the same night from 9pm onwards; New Blood (Indonesia), Goochu (Korea) and Asia 7 (Thailand).
On Saturday (4 May), only Panggung Anniversari comes alive with WYJF as No Black Tie goes back to its regular programming for a day. Delivering their sounds in turn starting at 4.45pm are Daya Quintet (Indonesia), Leonard Yeap’s Selection (Malaysia), Gilang Ramadhan (Indonesia), Goochu, Dani (Malaysia), Asia 7, and Ralyzzdig (Japan).
Finally, on Sunday (5 May), New Blood, Young Ladies Of Jazz (Malaysia), Fieldplayers (Malaysia), and Ringga Haridka & Jazz Ampang Jam (Indonesia) sponge up the spotlight at Panggung Anniversari beginning 2.30pm. Later at 9pm at No Black Tie, Ralyzzdig closes out WYJF 2019 in style.
Check WYJF’s website and social media for any updates or schedule changes!
World Youth Jazz Festival
WHERE Panggung Anniversari and No Black Tie, Kuala Lumpur
WHEN 3-5 May (check website for full schedule)