Kuching Jazz Festival promises line-up of eclectic music performers

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Ting (second right) and Ferguson (second left) hold banners showing the full line of artistes for the festival.

KUCHING (Oct 19): The Kuching Jazz Festival on Oct 28 and 29 will prove that jazz music is not ‘boring’ or ‘slow’ like many think, said Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Sebastian Ting.

He said this is because of the line-up of eclectic music performers that will create more awareness of the different genres under jazz.

“This will make people realise that jazz is not ‘boring’ or ‘slow’ music.

“Jazz can be soulful, upbeat and even make you want to get down to the front of the stage and dance your heart out,” he said at a press conference to announce the official full line-up of performers for the jazz festival.

Ting announced that headlining act Afgan from Indonesia will be joined by compatriots Hendri Rotinsulu and Jazmint Band (Indonesia), Noryn Aziz (Malaysia), Phum Viphurit (Thailand), Freyja Garbett (Australia), Dawn Wong & The Ark Royal (Singapore), Leon Sapphire (Malaysia) and Ushera (Malaysia).

Also included in the line-up are Sarawakian acts Ta’Dan and Ky Den.

Ting also said this year’s Kuching Jazz Festival will be quite different from the previous three editions in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

He noted the event has grown from strength to strength and he is hopeful it will be more successful in years to come.

“I think it will be much bigger and better for both old and young jazz music fans to enjoy.

“We hope to have more of such events in Kuching to cater for different groups of tourists,” he added.

On the performers, he said Afgan as the headlining act is undoubtedly one of the best-known artistes in Asia, with a distinctive voice and style that merges pop and jazz.

On Noryn Aziz, he said this award-winning singer is one of Malaysia’s top jazz singers with a career spanning nearly three decades.

As for Phum Viphurit, he said this Thai singer-songwriter gained international recognition in 2018 from his dance floor-filler single, ‘Lover Boy’, and sleeper hit ‘Long Gone’ in 2017.

Meanwhile, Hemisphere Corporation Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Mark Ferguson said the festival will be held at Grand Margherita Hotel which is currently managed and operated by the company.

To a question, he said they are targeting an audience of at least 1,000 people per night during the festival.

He also said sales of tickets through online and physical means have already picked up and is expected to reach the target soon.

“We also own and operate a loyalty mobile app for customers which is known as Insiders Club, the first of its kind in Malaysia.

“The tools within this app are to maximise the experience for our customers. This year, room packages with Kuching Jazz are available on the app in addition to kuchingjazz.com which is our official website,” he said.

He added that local ethnic communities are also invited to showcase their cuisine and handicrafts to the festival goers by displaying and selling their goods at Kuching Jazz’s food and crafts festival bazaar.

Those wanting to get more information and to purchase tickets can visit www.kuchingjazz.com or download the Insider’s Club App by Hemisphere.