Borneo Jazz Festival 2022 to be held in hybrid format for first time

Sharzede (left) and Hii (right) pose with the Borneo Jazz Festival 2022 bunting during a photo-call after the press conference.

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KUCHING, May 9: Borneo Jazz Festival (BJ) 2022 will be held in a hybrid format for the first time to reach out to the greater jazz-loving community worldwide.

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) chief executive officer Sharzede Salleh Askor said the physical event is expected to attract about 1,000 festival goers daily for the three-day festival, and at least 10,000 viewers online.

“One of main Borneo Jazz’s objectives is building on the music tourism ecosystem in Miri to elevate the resort city as a cultural and music centre.


“In line with STB’s goals to promote sustainable and responsible tourism, Borneo Jazz will be providing fun and educating workshops and eco-friendly projects prior to the festival,” she said during a press conference held at the STB office at Jalan McDougall, here today.

Meanwhile, No Black Tie founder and Borneo Jazz Festival artistic director Evelyn Hii said the curation by No Black Tie in keeping with the festival’s objectives is not only to highlight Borneo uniqueness, but also to bring musicians from cultural backgrounds together in Borneo.

“This year’s edition will highlight cross-cultural musical collaborations from jazz, soul and bossa nova to hip hop in celebration of Jungle Jazz,” she said.

Borneo Jazz Festival 2022 will featured renowned percussionist Steve Thornton from Brooklyn, New York, with his band Afro Asia, together with Kamrul Hussin on Malay percussion and Sesatre Bansuri on Indian and traditional flutes, teaming up with one of Asia’s brightest jazz trios featuring Shanghai pianist Eric Li, Malaysian bassist Rozhan Razman and drummer John Thomas; and ASIABEAT featuring Helga (violin) from Hungary, Grace Leong on keyboards, Luke Joseph on guitar and Zailan Razak on bass. Sarawakian musician Clinton Chua will also be featured as guest singer.

In addition, the festival will also feature new-generation instrumental jazz band Gecko and Tokage Parade (Japan), Alemay Fernandez and Richard Jackson (Singapore and USA) together with Euntaek Kim on keys (played with Dennis Chambers), Jase Sng on bass (played with Incognito) and Erik Hargrove on drums (played with James Broen and Bootsy Collins).

QSOUND will be bringing Jazz, R&B and hip hop vibes to Borneo Jazz Stage, while MASIA ONE (Singapore) who has worked with Pharrell, John Frusciante, Che Vicious, and Edison Chen, will be bringing her brand of music inspired by her upbringing in Canada, and living in the USA and the Carribbean to the festival.

DJ Estephe (Switzerland) featuring Chris Stalk (sax) and Jules Vulzor (bass) will recreate the energy of ol’ school Latin Jazz Afro Funk bands mixed with House Music to present late night sets, as well as host nightly jam sessions with Borneo Jazz musicians.

More names will be revealed in the coming weeks leading to the festival.

The Borneo Jazz festival will be empowering the community through its social empowerment platform such as Borneo Jazz Talent Search (April 1, – May 15, 2022), Borneo Jazz FAB LAB (May 9 – June 18, 2022), ECO DRUM JAM Project (June 5, 2022) and the Eco Art Project (May 8 – June 20, 2022).

A host of fringe activities are lined up during the Borneo Jazz festival weekend from June 24 -26, from 8am until 5.30pm. Open to the public, participants can come to unwind with their Wellness Programme (8am-11.30am); appreciate the heritage and sounds of Borneo island’s musical instruments at the Borneo Boat Lute exhibition, be part of Eco Drum Workshop & Jam on Sunday, June 26 from 3.30pm-5.30pm, led by Borneo Jazz drummer and percussionist, Lewis Pragasam and Steve Thornton.

Art and craft-lovers can come to appreciate the creativity behind the the Eco Art project, where plastic waste will be repurposed into art installations and traditional art and heritage at the Artisanal Craft Bazaar which will feature Sarawak’s basketry and beads, batik-painting by Miri-based artist, Noel Belulok and a Tattoo Gallery featuring Miri tattoo artists.

Jazz music lovers may purchase tickets for the festival at jazzborneo.com and register for the virtual BJ view (for online viewers, tickets are priced at RM25 per one-hour block).

For the public category, the 1-Day Pass is priced at RM128 per pax, 2-Day Pass is RM228 per pax and 3-Day Pass is RM338 per pax, while for students and senior citizens, the 1-Day Pass is priced at RM88 per pax, 2-Day Pass is RM128 per pax and 3-Day Pass is RM188 per pax. For more information, visit jazzborneo.com. – DayakDaily.