Japanese pianist to give special performance at Jazz Festival


KOTA KINABALU: Renowned Japanese pianist Mariko Hatta will render a special performance on the second day of the fifth KK Jazz Festival tonight, as part of her goodwill trip to the State.

Her first piece entitled, ‘Mariko’, aims to raise awareness for the plight of the orang utans of Sabah, while the second piece called ‘Thank You Malaysia’, expresses appreciation for the support shown to Japanese tsunami victims during the recent catastrophy.

Organizing chairman Jack Ong during a press conference, before the first day of the festival commenced last night said telecommunication company DiGi is sponsoring four units of blackberry handphones as prizes for the lucky draw for both nights.

“We bring jazz music to Sabahans for the fifth year and hope that this musical genre will unite all Jazz lovers.

“We also encourage people to come as this festival is about raising money for installing water gravity projects in the rural areas of Sabah,” he said.

Last night, local bands Elixir, Agung Beat, Momain Blues and Spice of Tones performed with Juzzie Smith from Australia, Indonesian Idol, Lucky and WVC Trio from the USA starting from 7pm until midnight.

Tonight, the winners of the Sabah Jazz Talent show, SIA Little Jazz, will be performing with other international and local Jazz bands such as the Aseana Precussion Unit from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Chinese Bossa Nova singer Z Yan and the Benjamin Lackner Trio of Germany.

Juzzie and Elixir will be performing again tonight.

According to Ong, as with previous years, food stalls and sponsors’ booths would be set up at the venue for the enjoyment of festival goers.

Members of the public are encouraged to carpool and to be at the venue, the covered tennis court, Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf and Country Club, early due to limited parking space.

Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival is an annual jazz extravaganza organized by the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu (RCKK) with the support of the Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu Sabah (SPArKS).

Staged in the picturesque Nature Resort City of Kota Kinabalu, the festival brings together a musical melting pot of talents from around the world.

The festival was initiated in 2007 with the aim of promoting Kota Kinabalu in the international musical scene.

The inaugural event was held at the Jesselton Point, a renowned waterfront establishment in the city. By its second edition in 2008, KK Jazz Festival had attracted international talents such as Greg Lyons from the United Kingdom and Denise Mininfield from the United States of America.

Apart from promoting Kota Kinabalu as a tourism destination internationally, the festival has also successfully raised public awareness of the local community towards such popular music genre.

With nearly a thousand local attendees, the festival is an excellent platform for learning and interaction between the local music enthusiasts and the international artistes.

The KK Jazz Festival is now a signature event in Sabah’s annual calendar of events and is also a key component of the Kota Kinabalu Arts Festival.