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KUCHING, Sept 28: The Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival 2018 tonight is expected to be better since the amount of effort put into promoting it almost tripled that of the first edition last year.
Malaysian jazz singer Atilia Haron from Kuala Lumpur said although she did not participate in last year’s show, she noted lots of promotions done this year.
“I was so jealous of not being able to perform at last year’s Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival. Last year it was huge, and I saw it all over the social media.
“I see a lot of improvements this year, and I am thankful that I’ve been invited to perform this year,” Atilia told reporters at the Grand Margherita Hotel, venue of the festival.
This year, 14 bands would be performing, starting 6pm Friday at the stage set up near the hotel. Apart from the main concert in the evening, the participating bands would also be conducting free public workshops.
The festival’s artistic director, Asif Pishari, described last year’s festival as a success, where it attracted some 4,000 patrons. He hoped the trend would improve every year as the debut edition had attracted a lot of attention from music enthusiasts.
“We are just in our second year, so we’re still a baby. I think we’ve made some progress because I got a lot of people calling me about the Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival and showing so much interest.
“It’s becoming more popular, and we hope this will continue to happen. Apart from the main concert, we have free workshops going on, conducted by the various bands. They are open to the public for opportunities to learn from the masters,” said Asif.
Meanwhile, Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival advisor Gracie Geikie said the festival formed part of the government’s effort to improve the image and brand of Kuching city as a fun place to be in terms of lifestyle.
She added that the main organiser, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), also hoped that the festival would open up opportunities to local talents to showcase themselves as well as opportunities for entrepreneur and business activities.
“Some of our vendors are social enterprises and non-profit organisations. SEDC is taking the lead in this effort to nurture aspiring local jazz musicians and give them a chance to perform with international musicians,” said Geikie.
This year, she targeted more than 4,000 members of the audience throughout the two-day festival, despite being already sold out.
At the same time, she urged those coming to the festival to purchase autographed posters of the bands and performers because the proceeds would go to charitable bodies.
“Proceeds from the sale of the autographed posters will go to the Sarawak Association For The Welfare Of Intellectually Disabled Children (Perkata) and the Society for Parents of Children with Special Needs (Pibakat),” said Geikie. — DayakDaily