Saturday, May 06, 2006

International Names at Miri Jazz Festival

The Miri International Jazz Festival which debuts in 2006 12th and 13th of May is going to include as many different styles and exotic versions of this genre as its repertoire and it will be held at the Park City Everly Hotel. The event is a brainchild of the Sarawak Tourism Board which has, in the past, been the main instrument in building up the Rainforest World Music Festival that is held in Kuching. Eight very contrasting bands will be performing nightly. Friday 12th May All The Best (Sarawak) Nah Youn Sun (Korea) UBlues (Singapore) Gangbe Brass Band (Benin) Saturday 13th May Mambo Jambo (United Kingdom) Shanghai Jazz Ensemble (China) Fra Fra Sound (Netherlands) Lluis Coloma (Spain) There will be Fra Fra Sound from the Netherlands, Shanghai Jazz Ensemble from China, UBlues from Singapore, Korean singer Nah Youn Sun with her French band, Lluis Coloma from Barcelona, Spain, Mambo Jambo from England and the Gangbe Brass Band from Benin. Fra Fra Sound from the Netherlands is a seven piece Afro-Caribbean jazz big band. Of late, they have also incorporated sounds and influences taken from Latin-American jazz, blues, soul and gospel. They have a vibrant horn section and each individual is a virtuoso in their own right, doing breathtaking and innovative improvisations. Shanghai Jazz Ensemble will be another one of them. This band with the unforgettable Coco as lead vocalist, will be performing on the 13 th of May – the second of the 2 nights of the festival. Sarawak’s very own "All The Best", headed by Shafiee Obe Hairunie, will be the representative of the state in this momentous occasion. Shafiee is a well known figure in the music world in Sarawak – born in Miri and currently the conductor and arranger for the jazz arm of the SONS orchestra based in Kuching. He was also composer and producer for recordings for Camelia under universal records and Diana under Nar Records. Shafiee will be playing on saxophones and keyboards. Together with him will be Abang Taha on drums, Ali Omar on bass and Saji & Azim on percussion. Their repertoire is vast but for the Miri International Jazz Orchestra, they will be presenting a set of contemporary jazz with latin overtones. Tickets for the festival are priced at RM50.00 for a night and a package of RM80.00 for 2 nights per person. Shows will start at 7.30 pm but the doors will be opened early as there will be elegant food and drinks available and for the audience to find a comfortable spot and mingle before the performances begin. The festival is supported by Tourism Malaysia with Heineken as the Supporting Sponsor. The Official Media Partner is ASTRO together with MAS as Official Airline, Park City Everly as Official Hotel, Unison Systems as Official Web Solutions Provider and the supporting partners are Asia Eurowines, Miri Guardians and Water Genesis For more information, call the Sarawak Tourism Board at 082-423600 or the Visitors Information Centre Miri at 085-434181 or email to Check the website for updates at The festival will be partly indoors at the beautiful circular Pavilion with guests able to spill over into the grounds of the hotel overlooking the sea. "All The Best" will be performing on the first night, opening the festival. Also, remember to mark the dates 7 – 9 July 2006 in your busy calendar – that’s when the Rainforest World Music Festival is on in Kuching, Malaysia – on the beautiful island of Borneo They've set up an official RWMF email account – - for the public to write in with enquiries re the Miri International Jazz Festival on 12-13 May 2006 and the Rainforest World Music Festival on 7-9 July 2006. They have people manning this address so if you have anything that needs clarification, please do drop them a line.

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