Groove to the sounds of fusion jazz at BJF 2022

Fernandez (top, left), Kam (top, right), Gecko & Tockage Parade (bottom, left), and Matkovich (bottom, right) will be bringing an eclectic mix of pop, rock, and soul into jazz at BJF 2022.

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KUCHING, June 8: Groove to the sounds of fusion jazz at the Borneo Jazz Festival (BJF) 2022 as Gecko & Tockage Parade, Alemay Fernandez & Richard Jackson, Nikkollective feat Nikko Ielasi, and Mark Hartsuch bring an eclectic mix of pop, rock, and soul into jazz.

According to a press release from the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB), Borneo Jazz’ cutting edge vibes aim to entice the younger generation to immerse in nu-jazz, with Gecko & Tokage Parade (Japan).

“With the motto “pursuit of new-generation sound”, this new-generation instrumental jazz band is led by composer and pianist Wataru, also known as Gecko.

“With Gecko at the helm, this quartet blends pop, classical piano melodies, post-rock, and fusion-style guitar that crosses minimal, jazz, and experimental sounds to appeal to the next generation,” STB said.

BJF 2022 will feature Alemay Fernandez of Singapore and Richard Jackson of the United States of America, who will bring their own brand of soul to jazz with Fernandez’s bluesy tone and Jackson’s smooth baritone voice.

“Fernandez’s phenomenal voice has landed her on stage with the likes of music greats like The Count Basie Orchestra, David Foster, and Laura Fygi.

“Along with her impressive resume, she is also a songwriter and is widely considered as Singapore’s foremost jazz singer,” STB said.

It continued by stating that Jackson, her partner in rhyme at BJF 2022, is a seasoned performer having opened for legendary acts such as The Stylistics, Regina Bell, Tuck & Patti, Peabo Bryson, and Incognito just to name a few.

Jackson has also performed with jazz legends Ernie Watts, Randy Brecker, Kenny Drew Jr, Al Di Meola, and Ricky Lawson.

“Originally from Cincinnati, USA, Richard is currently based in Singapore making him a festival favourite in the region.

“Together, Fernandez and Jackson bring jazz to new heights with their unmistakable chemistry and their uniquely refreshing style.

“Expect an eclectic mix of groovy originals and jazz/soul covers, with a top-notch band featuring 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),” STB stated.

Furthermore, STB revealed that extraordinary Italian pianist Nikko Ielasi fuses jazz, gospel, pop, and rock elements in one power-packed set with his headlining band Nikkollective, who is set to wow the audience during BJF 2022.

“Joined by fellow superstars Italian Adriano Matkovich on bass and Malaysia’s own Arthur Kam on drums, Nikkollective is sure to not disappoint.

“A versatile drummer laying down grooves and beats that drives the music to another dimension, Arthur Kam is a Malaysian child prodigy hitting big stages with various artists locally and internationally from the age of seven.

“Kam, a Berklee College of Music graduate, is a New York-based drummer who currently sessions for singer-songwriters, artists, and bands of various genres in New York, Boston, China, and Malaysia,” STB explained.

Moreover, the festival will also feature saxophonist Mark Hartsuch, best known for his work with Indian legend and Grammy and Oscar winner AR Rahman, produces, composes, arranges, and records horns for Bollywood films and independent music artists from around the world.

STB also pointed out that in the summer of 2019, Ielasi became suddenly and irreversibly deaf on the right side with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL).

“Through adversity, Ielasi has continued to persevere by blessing the world with his music as a leader and musical director for others,” per the press release.

Jazz music lovers can start purchasing tickets for BJF 2022 starting now from the official website at or directly from the official ticket resellers, Miri City Council at and Transworld Travel Services Sdn Bhd at — DayakDaily