Excerpt: KKJF 2010

Thanks to photographer Henry Liew for his contributions to my book. These are a few from the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival 2010.

Here is a bit about that night.

Malaysia’s stars fill the sky over Sutera Harbour – 4th KKJF Day One

Everyone with Sabahan blood running through their veins will have stood the tallest, and with the proudest hearts, to witness their glorious young talent on stage for the whole world to see, on DAY 1 of the KK Jazz Festival 2010 at Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf & Country Club, on June 18.

The night was a complete success. The huge effort by the joint organisers Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu Sabah (SPArKS) and the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu meant that we all sat or walked around a truly magnificent venue, soaking up the splendour of a visual and audio feast thanks to superb sound and lighting, and witnessed a full line-up of completely professional and entertaining musicians.

Only the weather worked against festival organisers that day, and it’s a reflection of the event that crowds braved the torrential rain to make it to the huge, arched canopies over Sutera tennis courts.

Elson Kho (Head of Publicity and Marketing, KKJF) said later, “Yes, the rain was pouring, and flash floods were everywhere, but this did not dampen the spirit of the enthusiastic jazz festival goers in KK last night! Over 800 people turned up on the first day of KKJF.”

All the musicians delivered polished performances but for me, local bands FINGERSTYLE, KIDZ and the KOMBO RTM SABAH stand out most of all. Playing your very best with all your heart to your home people delivers a magic which surpasses everything.

Fingerstyle opened up the night with a medley of Steve Wonder and Earth, Wind and Fire songs, among others. Their faces lit the night as they sung with passion and the instrumentalists played with exquisite dexterity. If Happiness can be captured, it was in the face of the lead guitarist Syuwari Ritchie. They had a blast and blasted us too.

Following on was Kidz. Led by Matlan Kidz, they prove that God’s gifts – the ones which bring real beauty into the world – are sprinkled into every corner of the earth, and Kudat, which is the very tip of Borneo, receives its fair share too. These musicians played like jazz fusion was bottled inside them and just looking for a route to come bursting forth….

[Excerpt from: Funk, Joanna. SabahSongs: Contemporary Music in Sabah. Kota Kinabalu: Opus Publications, 2013. 35-40. Print.]

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