The Fingerprints crowned champion in Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival band search finals

Deck (second left), Hazel (third left), Alisa (third right), and Milson (first right) with Sarawak Tourism Board chief executive officer Sharzede Salleh Askor (fourth right) and others posing for the cameras after the band won the KWJF band search on Friday (Aug 30, 2019).

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By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Sept 1: Local jazz band The Fingerprints was in seventh heaven after managing to successfully woo the judges to win the Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival (KWJF) band search finals at Grand Margherita Hotel here on Friday night.

Its band leader, guitarist and vocalist Deck Zeke, said that the victory has also earned the band a performance slot at KWJF 2019 which will be held at Kuching Waterfront, Grand Margherita Hotel this Sept 27-28.

“We were optimistic (heading into the final) but we had very good and also talented local jazz bands hot on our heels at the KWJF band search finals. The bands were Jazzanova, Sang Timur and SL2J.

“Our band is definitely very happy to be chosen and the realisation will probably not sink in until we rub shoulders with the other jazz singers and performers at the festival who are well established,” he told DayakDaily today.

Other band members are Milson Chong, Alisa Spencer and Hazel Mazel.

Deck is confident that the KWJF 2019 will enable the band to reveal their talent which has been hidden all these years, despite the fact that they are relatively new to the jazz music scene.

“There is so much to learn like a child learning to walk but my band members have the uniqueness and talent inside them that will really ‘explode’ when needed,” he said.

For the band search finals, the band performed three songs: “Jangan” made popular by Marion Jola, “Biar mati di tangan sulu”, an original re-arrangement by The Fingerprints; and “September” made popular by Earth, Wind and Fire.

Deck said he believed that their song choices were right and that probably gave them a slight edge and they were able to win the judges’ hearts.

“Maybe we were lucky; we did not expect to win. Anyway, we are of course grateful that we won as that has given us confidence in ourselves and the band itself,” he said.

While KWJF 2019 will really give them the platform to showcase their talent with established jazz groups and musicians, the band also wants to perform more and stay active in jazz and Dayak music scene.

“If there is a chance, we would like to perform original songs and share Dayak jazz music with the world.

“We can’t wait for KWJF 2019 and to see the crowds and meet other performers. We are really grateful and excited,” he said.

The Fingerprints won the Busker Raya Borneo 744 competition at Borneo 744 in Bintawa here in June. — DayakDaily