KOTA KINABALU: The highly-anticipated Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival (KKJF) is back for its ninth edition, this time more promising than ever.
The annual fund-raising event, jointly organised by the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu (RCKK) and the Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu (SPArKS), will be held on July 24 and 25, from 7pm to 11pm at the Covered Tennis Court of the Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf & Country Club here.
Known for being a melting pot of musical talents from around the world, KKJF has earned itself a spot as the “premier event in the Sabah Tourism annual calendar of events – and Malaysia Tourism calendar – and is also a key component of the Kota Kinabalu Arts Festival,” said organising chairperson of the festival and current RCKK president, Jack Ong, at a press conference here yesterday.
Jack said the main objectives of the event were to be a tourism event in Kota Kinabalu, develop local jazz bands and most importantly, to raise funds for community projects.
Since its inception in 2007, the funds obtained from KKJF ticket sales have been channelled towards community projects such as organising medical camps in rural areas, providing clean water to villages, conducting literacy programmes and having eye screenings under the Avoidable Blindness Campaign.
Also present at the press conference was co-founder of the festival, Datuk Adeline Leong of SPArKS, who said: “Our jazz festival in this region is a very special one because we emphasise a lot on our local talents. That’s why, every year, we have a jazz talent search amongst our local bands, and the winner of the search will perform at the festival.”
The winner of the talent search this year is Supertonic, a group from Labuan. They will be performing alongside other local acts including Quadro Forte, The Prathaz Band, Headhunters, Suria Buskers, Eilvane Chiang, May Mow, Liyana Fizi and 2013 Akademi Fantasia winner, Faizul Sany.
International artistes include The Rio Sidik Quartet and Gugun Blues Shelter from Indonesia and Shun Ng from the United States.
This year, festival-goers will also be graced with the presence of legendary Motown performer Bobby Taylor, who will be making his debut on the KKJF stage.
Bobby, who is most notable for discovering and mentoring the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, praised local talents at yesterday’s press conference.
“You guys really don’t know what you have,” said Bobby, when asked about what he thought of the local music scene. He even went on to say that he was considering conducting workshops here to share his experiences in hopes to further develop local acts.
Daphne Iking, Sabah’s very own pride and joy, will also be returning to host the festival this year.
Tickets for the event are on sale at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf outlets in Kota Kinabalu, Jordan’s Pasta Express, Party Play, Breadboss Cafe, Cabo Mexican Restaurant and also on AirAsiaRedTix.
This year’s event is sponsored by Sime Darby Foundation, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah, Carlsberg and DiGi.