KUCHING: Minister of Tourism and Heritage Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan announced yesterday that ‘Miri International Jazz Festival’ (MIJF) is now renamed as ‘Borneo Jazz’.
Dr Chan who is also deputy chief minister made this announcement at a press conference at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia.
“The rationale behind this change is to set the event on par with other international festivals. This renaming is also to capitalise on the destination, Borneo, a name that evokes images of a magical destination,” he explained.
This change, he added, will provide a new image to reflect the vibrancy of the festival as well as destination.
“As part of STB’s (Sarawak Tourism Board) transformation and continuous improvement, the festival is now geared towards a commercial basis in order to bring it to greater heights,” he said.
Among other improvements made for the festival is that it will be extended to a four day event and held from May 12 to 15, said Dr Chan.
“Next year, the festival will kick-off with the opening night on May 12 which will be open to the general public. There will also be musical meetings in the afternoon of the festival on Saturday, which is then interlude by a Sunday matinee,” he said.
According to STB CEO Dato’ Rashid Khan, new initiatives have been planned under the transformation.
“Among them, the Internship and Volunteers Program whereby STB as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), will collaborate with the academia as part of an industry advisory platform in enhancing the quality of graduates that is relevant to the needs of the industry,” said Rashid.
He also said that the program will provide a unique learning experience for international volunteers and interns while exposing them to Sarawak’s culture, nature and adventure.
“The aim is to have 70 per cent students from outside Sarawak as participants of this programme. This is another step towards bringing the festival into the international arena,” he added.
He added that STB aims to attract 10,500 visitors to the festival and 60 per cent are expected to be foreigners.
Besides that, Rashid said STB will also work with private sectors to design tour packages to attract jazz enthusiasts from west Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Australia and Europe.
The 2011 headline act will be Grammy nominated Maria Muldur, from the United States.
Sharing the stage will be Cunha & Piper from Brazil, Les Doights De L’Homme from France, SIU2 from Hong Kong, State of Monc from Holland, Victor Yong and the Electric Carnival from Malaysia and Canada and Yuichiro Tokuda’s RALYZZ DIG from Japan.
Tickets are priced at RM60 for adults and RM30 for children aged 3 to 12 are now available online at www.ticketcharge.com.my.
Those interested may contact ticket charge at 03-92228811 or log on to the website at www.jazzborneo.com.
Tickets will also be available at Visitor’s Information Centre in Kuching, Sibu and Miri from March 2011 onwards.