Foreign music lovers praise Borneo Jazz Festival


MIRI: The annual Borneo Jazz Festival (BJF) organised by the Sarawak Tourism Board is a great platform for music enthusiasts from all around the world to fall in love with jazz and share their passion for the music genre.

For Bruneian Kim Garcia, a second-time visitor at the festival, BJF is a really fun event and she came back this year after her first visit in 2013 when she started to fall in love with jazz.

“It is really fun to be here as everyone is enjoying what jazz music has to offer. I was not a jazz fan before I went to the Borneo Jazz Festival and since my first trip here in 2013, I started to fall in love with jazz and will continue to attend the festival for years to come,” said the 28-year-old restaurant supervisor.

In this edition of BJF, award-winning pianist, vocalist and composer Laila Biali from Canada was her favourite performer for her smooth voice and unique take on music.

Another Biali fan, Abex Alfira Naftaly from Indonesia, said that BJF 2017 was all very good and she enjoyed the artistic ambience that the performers from all over the world had created.

“This place is so good and overall it was so entertaining. Although I am not a big fan of jazz, I started to fall in love with the music genre after I attended this festival.

“I would like to suggest to the organisers to place more tables and chairs as well as picnic decorations on the festival ground because I can see that people who are here mostly bring their own mattress so that they can relax while enjoying good music,” said the 30-year-old Trek Venture travel agent.

“This can also prevent frustration among the visitors who are standing at the back as they are not able to watch the performances clearly,” she added.

Indonesian jazz act Idang Rasjidi Syndicate was also her favourite group at the two-day festival.

As for Aditya Pattanaik, 35, from Brunei, the festival provided a great opportunity for him to get to learn more about jazz music especially with the introduction of several workshops at the festival.

“BJF as an internationally recognised jazz festival provides a rare opportunity for me to enjoy jazz music from many professional jazz musicians,” he said.

His favourite performer at BJF 2017 was Fluoroscent Collective, a music group comprising students and graduates from Berklee College of Music who brought their version of contemporary jazz fusion on stage.

“One thing that I think would be really cool is to get more local musicians with their local instruments showcasing their immense talents here at BJF.

“Looking at the great response received this year, I will surely come again next year,” he said, adding that this was his first time attending the festival.