Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly column of Your story, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the previous 540 articles, we have presented a Art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecoms fair, millets fair, climate change exhibition, wildlife conference, boot festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
Held every summer in the town of Miri, in eastern Malaysia, Sarawak, the Borneo Jazz Festival (BJF) takes place each year in a new format around the time of the coronavirus – an online showcase.
The festival took place earlier at Miri’s Parkcity Everly Hotel, then moved to Coco Cabana at Marina Bay. I have covered three editions of the festival, on both sites, as some of the images in this four part photo essay show (see part I here).
This year, Borneo Jazz Festival 2021 Virtual Travel highlights some of the outstanding performers since its first edition in 2006. The showcase will be streamed online for free from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Malaysian Standard Time) daily, weekends from June 25-27.
“After more than a year of watching the international entertainment industry, among other things, innovate on how to reach their target groups, we look forward to seeing fans and new audiences embrace the BJF 2021 Virtual Travel,” said declared Sharzede Datu Salleh Askor, CEO, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB).
The Fingers Of Man (France)
BJF 2021: Memories of Borneo
Local bands featured this year will include O-Ha Soul Band, Clinton Jerome Chua, Nisa Addina, Pete Kallang and Ta’Dan Performance.
“At the moment, my group is me and pianist Foo Jeng”, explains Nisa Addina, a violinist, composer and producer, in conversation with Your story. She grew up in Sarawak and is now based in Kuala Lumpur.
She first met Foo in the Berklee College of Music. “We were both among the few Malaysians there. His compositions are wonderful and experimental, fascinating! I thought of him to play for Borneo Jazz because I thought it would be fun to work with him, ”recalls Nisa.
Nisa Addina (photo courtesy of the artist)
The musical duo Ta’Dan was formed by Prostasindra and Daniel. “We met playing in a cover band, for weddings and occasions. We played in a jazz cover band and found that we both share the same interest in music, ”the musicians explain.
“We wanted to go deeper into the music we were playing. This is how we form our group as a duo. We wanted to play our own originals and our own cover versions, ”they recall.
The virtual stage
Flashback video segments at BJF will feature Habana Sax, Julian Chan Jazz Orchestra, Chandra Rule, Jazz Association Singapore and Borneo Jazz Band with Zainal Abidin. Some of the earliest Indian artists included Dhruv Ghanekar, Gino Banks and Sheldon D’Silva.
Ta’Dan musicians say they are delighted and lucky to be able to perform at Borneo Jazz. “The festival was one of driving reasons why we would want to create our own music, ”they explain.
“We are discovering a lot of performers and music from past festivals. And now being in one ourselves is like, Wow! The virtual experience also takes it to another level, ”they say. “Being able to play and be watched by streaming audiences is something new,” they enthusiastically.
Ta’Dan (image courtesy of the artist)
Pete Kallang, a singer and recording artist of Miri, says he is deeply honored to also be invited to perform at BJF this year. “It is an honor to be part of a music festival that celebrates music both locally and internationally. This gives a platform to educate and raise awareness about the importance of music, ”he explains.
“I feel humbled to be able to represent Sarawak as a musician and to make my hometown proud. I want to be able to inspire freedom in the arts, ”concludes Nisa Addina.
Now what have you done today to take a break from your busy schedule and find new inspiration for your creative core?
Albert Marsico trio
FVE project [Malaysia]
Junkofunc (Malaysia) – Borneo
Left – NJWA; Right – YK Band, Indonesia
New Cool Collective (Netherlands)
Nita Aartsen (Indonesia)
Schalk Jouberts and the sextet of the three continents of South Africa
State of Monc (Holland)
Voice sampling – Cuba
Pete Kallang (image courtesy of the artist)
BJF 2021 live interview
BJF 2021 – Oh-ha Soul Band
Talent search – 2019
Edge of the Miri river
(Image credits – Madanmohan Rao and STB)