BJ2017 To Include Networking Session

MIRI: The 12th edition of the annual Borneo Jazz (BJ) will introduce a networking session titled ‘Jazz & Money � Do They Mix?’ to take place at Ruai Bar of Parkcity Everly Hotel here this May 13, running from 2pm onwards.

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) director of events and corporate relations Angelina Bateman said the inaugural session would be led by South African producer and label manager Patrick Lee-Thorp.

This networking session is a new concept with a Q&A session where jazz professionals and amateurs can talk and exchange opinions about the music industry, she said at a press conference here on the session yesterday.

Borneo Jazz, organised by STB, is an annual international event that is part of the Miri May Fest. Eight bands from around the world will be performing at the two-day festival � they are Idang Rasjidi Syndicate (Indonesia), The Cape Jazz Band (South Africa), Michael Simon’s Asian Connection (Netherlands/Taiwan/Malaysia), Osaka Monaurail (Japan), Fluoroscent Collective (Malaysia, USA, India, Italy), Laila Biali (Canada), Delgres (Guadaloupe/France) and Cabocuba Jazz (Netherlands).

Leading up to the event, the organisers will also be holding special sneak previews at BarThyme Music Cafe and Bistro at Marina Bay on May 9, and at Ming Cafe on May 10. Both previews are scheduled to commence at 9pm.

According to Bateman, Borneo Jazz is a niche event that appeals to jazz-loving audiences, especially the expatriates working in Sarawak and those from neighbouring countries.

Therefore as an effort to foster interest in jazz music especially among the younger generation, STB would also be holding several youth programmes during BJ2017.

Apart from providing several workshops at the event, we also have been getting the youths to perform on stage since last year. This is one of our ways to reach out to the local community and make them feel that they are part of this international event, she added.

The BJ2017 youth programme performers include Zuhaili Quartet from the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage (Aswara), Miri Orchestra and Choir Society, Chung Hua Marching Band, and the Riam Road Secondary School Bruins Marching Band.

There will also be an outreach programme conducted in collaboration with the Miri Music Centre. These workshops are open to all and free-of-charge.

This programme is in line with BJ’s passion for inspiring and enhancing local musicians to perfect their craft.

The programme was launched in 2016 with one session on keyboard, and received a great response from the public.

STB has decided to expand it further to incorporate a wider range of instruments, Bateman said.

The four workshops for the two-day event include ‘Make Me Hip!’ � a workshop on contemporary keyboard styles by James Boyle from Aswara College from 2pm onwards on May 12. On the same day, a drumkit and percussion ‘concert clinic’ titled ‘I Got Rhythm!’ will be conducted by Cabocuba Jazz’s Nils Fisher and Armando Vidal at 4pm.

On May 13, a keyboard class on the art of improvisation titled ‘I Want to Break Free!’ will be conducted by Michael Veerapen from Michael Simon Asian Connection at 9.30am. At 11.30am, Michael Simon together with Terry Hsieh from Michael Simon Asian Connection will conduct the final workshop titled ‘Blow Your Horn’ � a brass instrument class that will focus on tone production and basic techniques.

All are invited to attend these workshops and all you have to do is contact the Miri Music Centre to register. Please pre-register so that we will know the number of people who will be coming, Bateman said.

Also present at the press conference was Parkcity Everly Hotel general manager Andrew Law.

According to a press statement, more than 5,000 jazz lovers are expected to attend BJ2017. Surveys from last year’s show showed an attendance of 4,000 with an estimated economic spin-off of RM8 million and media mileage worth RM10 million. It was also estimated that about 40 per cent of the crowd were non-Malaysians.

For tickets and more information on BJ2017, visit

Source: Borneo Post Online