First Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival not to be missed


Sheila Majid

Ernie and the Jeremy Monteiro Organ Trio0

KUCHING: Sarawak’s first ever Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival (KWJF) will be happening at the Grand Margherita Hotel Kuching on Sept 29 and 30.

The two-day jazz music festival will feature a total of 17 acclaimed jazz musicians and bands from all over the region, including Sheila Majid (Malaysia), Ernie Watts (USA), Jeremy Monteiro (Singapore), Kunto Aji (Indonesia) and Shanghai Sisters (Malaysia).

Sheila Majid, Malaysia’s Queen of Jazz, has been in the Malaysian and international jazz arena for more than 30 years after soaring to success with her 1986 song ‘Sinaran’, an evergreen.

She achieved international stardom by winning the prestigious Indonesia BASF Award for Best Female Artiste in R&B category in 1987, never done before by a non-Indonesian.

Her success in Indonesia was followed up by a 1988 nationwide tour. Sheila spread her wings to Japan with the release of her 1988 multi-platinum selling album ‘Warna’ and has performed in many cities around the world.

She released several more award-winning albums including ‘Legenda’, ‘Ku Mohon’ and ‘Cinta Kita’. Her 2017 album entitled ‘Boneka’ is her first studio album after 13 years.

She is a household name in Malaysia, her music breaking all age and racial barriers.

American jazz musician Ernie Watts is one of the world’s most versatile and creative saxophonists.

Starting at the age of 13, the two-time Grammy Award-winning saxophonist has played jazz professionally for 50 years all over the globe, been featured on 500 recordings with different artistes, and played on movie soundtracks for acclaimed hits such as Grease and The Color Purple.

He has 23 albums under his belt of which eight were created under his own music label, Flying Dolphin Records. In 2014, he received the prestigious Frankfurt Music Prize for classical and non-classical musicians from the city of Frankfurt, Germany.

According to the Frankfurt Music Prize Foundation, Ernie was selected for his melodic saxophone style and original tone language.

Other than performing with various bands all over the world, he conducts clinics and master classes for students and professionals.

At this year’s Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival, Ernie will be playing with the Jeremy Monteiro Organ Trio.

Singapore’s King of Swing, Jeremy Monteiro is one of the foremost jazz pianists in Asia. A professional jazz musician for over 40 years, he has more than 20 jazz albums under his belt, and has played on numerous other jazz albums by other artistes including Ernie Watts.

A Fellow of the London College of Music, Jeremy is Visiting Chair of Jazz & Professor at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in the UK, joining other acclaimed RSA Fellows such as Charles Dickens, Nelson Mandela and Stephen Hawking.

He received the pinnacle award in Arts Achievement in Singapore, the Cultural Medallion, the first jazz musician there to be given this accolade.

Jeremy will be performing in two separate sessions with his Organ Trio and Ernie Watts as well as with the Asian All Stars Power Quartet featuring Melissa Tham, both not to be missed at Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival.

Among the other musicians and bands to perform during KWJF are Kunto Aji (Indonesia), Shanghai Sisters (Malaysia), Abdul and the Coffee Theory (Indonesia), Balawan Magic Fingers (Indonesia), Mellow Motif (Thailand), Andy Peterson (Malaysia) and many more.

KWJF hopes to be a platform to inspire and nurture local music talent, as well as encourage events and festivals in Sarawak.

Local and international media from Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and India are expected to cover the inaugural festival.

For the programme and line-up, visit Hotel packages and festival tickets can be purchased online at the website or at Grand Margherita Hotel, Riverside Majestic Hotel or Place Borneo Sdn Bhd.

For updates, search Kuching Waterfront Jazz on Facebook and Instagram. Call 082-555189 or email [email protected] for further enquiries.

This event is managed by Place Borneo Sdn Bhd.