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Penang Island Jazz Festival 2014

The Penang Island Jazz Festival 2014 is set to take place from 4-7 December at the Bayview Beach Resort in Batu Ferringhi, Penang Island. This is also the 11th installment of the international jazz festival where thousands of jazz lovers from around the region make their way here to attend this festival. The main event themed 'Jazz by the Beach' will take place on the 6th and 7th December with an exciting line up in international acts. 

For this years jazz festival, there are supporting music related activities held which include workshops, exhibitions, Sunrise Jazz @ The Spice Gardens, After Hours Jazz Jam, Creative Malaysia Fringe Stages and the Island Music Forum Sessions. 

For the Island Music Forum Sessions, there are a number of notable international speakers who will be discussing various topics related to jazz music and also jazz festivals. Speakers for the PIJF 2014 “Island Forum Sessions” include;

- Professor Tony Whyton (Director of the Salford Music Research Research Centre at University Salford UK)
- Lars Mossefinn (Independent Consultant at 4&more and jazz critic of Dag & Lid)
- Victor Kye (Assistant Artistic Director of Jarasum International Jazz Festival, Gwangju World Music Festival and Jarasum Rhythm & BBQ Festival)

Jazzhats and Ray, featuring Man Kidal (Malaysia)

Members of the band got together after the 5th Edition of PIJF and formed the group which has become one of the most in-demand groups in Penang. Consisting of Frankie on bass, Ken on Keyboards, Amy on Drums and fronted by the energetic, ever youthful Ray on vocals, the group will be joined by one of Malaysia’s finest guitar players – Man Kidal. 

Seth Glier (USA)

Seth Glier is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, and guitarist. Glier, a Massachusetts native, abandoned studies at The Berklee College of Music after one year because he wanted to play for people not for grades. Throughout 2010 and 2011, Glier shared stages with such artists as James Taylor, Mark Knopfler, The Verve Pipe, Edwin McCain and Ani DiFranco. He has appeared as a mainstage artist at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (NY) and the Kerrville Folk Festival (TX).

Glier received a nomination for the 2011 Grammy Awards Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for his release The Next Right Thing,[5] and earlier in 2011, he took home Best Love Song for his track Naia at the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards.[6] In 2012, "Next Right Thing" won Best Social Action Song at the Independent Music Awards. Seth Glier is currently an artist partner with ChildFund International. Seth showcases ChildFund's work and encourages his fans to reach out to children in crisis by sponsoring a child (or multiple children) with the organization.

Jo Young Deok Trio (Korea)

The Trio lead by Jo Young Deok consist of Kyunghee University 07 Alumni who won the grand prize at The Jazz Concourse Competition of The Jarasum International Jazz Festival 2012. Their music focuses on the blending of old and modern sounds. Jo young-deok, is the lead guitarist and composer for all but three of the songs on their debut album “Attelage”.

Drummer, Choi Joseph is actively playing in various music bands like Nam ye-ji Band, Pyo Jin-ho Quartet and Lee Kyujae Quintet and competent Bass player, Park Jiwoong adds support to the rhythms and melodies to the group. The title of their album “Attelage” means ‘a chain’ which the group hopes to show that all music is connected and hopes to create a unique sound which can only be played by a guitar trio.

Laila Biali Trio (Canada)

Award-winning Canadian Jazz pianist, vocalist and songwriter Laila Biali has toured with Suzanne Vega, Chris Botti and Paula Cole and recorded with and supported Sting. She takes the best of pop, rock and soul, informs it with her knowledge of Jazz and weaves it into her musical arrangements.

Laila’s music has been presented at prestigious venues spanning four continents including the North Sea Jazz Festival, Tokyo’s Cotton Club, Peru’s El Festival Internacional de Lima, and Carnegie Hall in New York City. Her studio recording Tracing Light received a JUNO nomination for “2011 Best Vocal Jazz Album of the Year” and her accolades include “SOCAN Composer of the Year” and “Keyboardist of the Year” at Canada’s National Jazz Awards.

Crystal Bowersox (USA)

American Idol 2010 runner up, Crystal has made it her mission to live life and her music to the fullest. With a gentle warmth and wisdom well beyond her years, the consummate artist has an uncompromising vision of herself and her music that is refreshing and rare.

Crystal released her first album “Farmer’s Daughter” in 2010 and has since performed alongside many names from Harry Connick Jr., Joe Cocker, and Alanis Morrisette, to Michael Franti, John Popper and BB King. “All That For This”, Crystal Bowersox’s sophomore release is a powerful testament to her talents as both a singer and songwriter, as well as her unerring musical vision. Her rich amalgam of blues, country, folk and rock makes her one of the most dynamic young voices in the world of music.

Carmen Souza (Cape Verdean, West Africa)

Lisbon born Carmen Souza is an incandescent female singer of Cape Verdean ancestry, a jazz-tinged chanteuse with a cool, smoky sound. Carmen grew up speaking both Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole. Theo Pas’cal, her producer and mentor and one of the best bass players in Portugal, discovered her talent and introduced Carmen to Jazz and other contemporary sounds that markedly influenced her musical development.

Her 2005 debut album Ess ê nha Cabo Verde was released in 2005 to critical acclaim and her second release, Verdade (Truth) in 2008, confirmed Souza’s status as a major new talent, and her recent release of Protegid (Protected) made her a true world music force – a combination of Cape Verdean traditional rhythms and song forms with jazz and Brazilian influences.

Monoswezi (Mozambique)

Monoswezi is a collective of musicians originally from Mozambique, Norway, Sweden and Zimbabwe. With a common passion for traditional African music in general, and music from Zimbabwe and Mozambique in particular, Monoswezi seeks a musical expression, where respect for tradition is combined with different references and experiences from jazz and modern Western music. In addition to traditional music, Monoswezi performs music composed by the band members, with a strong improvisational approach.

The Fresh Dixie Project (UK)

The Fresh Dixie Project have made a splash on the UK music scene with their unique crossover swing. Their energetic sound fuses intense grooves and raucous sax lines with infectious melodies and powerful riffs. Played hard, fast and laced with virtuosity, their songs are just as electrifying for the feet as they are for the ears.

Richard Bona (Cameroon, Africa)

Richard Bona was born into a family of musicians, which enabled him to start learning music from a young age. His grandfather was a griot – a West African singer of praise and storyteller – and percussionist, and his mother was a singer. At 4 years old, Bona started to play the balafon. At the age of 5, he began performing at his village church. Not being wealthy, Bona made many of his own instruments: including flutes and guitars (with cords strung over an old motorcycle tank).

His talent was quickly noticed, and he was often invited to perform at festivals and ceremonies. Bona began learning to play the guitar at age 11, and in 1980 aged just 13, he assembled his first ensemble for a French jazz club in Douala. The owner befriended him and helped him discover jazz music, in particular that of Jaco Pastorius, which inspired Bona to switch his focus to the electric bass.

Dutch Swing College Band (Holland)

The Dutch Swing College Band "DSCB" is a traditional dixieland band founded on May 5, 1945 by bandleader and clarinettist/saxophonist Peter Schilperoort. Highly successful in their native home of The Netherlands, the band quickly found an international following. 

It has featured such musicians as Huub Janssen (drums), Henk Bosch van Drakestein (double bass), Kees van Dorser (trumpet), Dim Kesber (saxes), Jan Morks (clarinet), Wout Steenhuis (guitar), Arie Ligthart (banjo/guitar), Jaap van Kempen (banjo/guitar), Oscar Klein (trumpet), Dick Kaart (trombone), Ray Kaart (trumpet), Bert de Kort (cornet), Bert Boeren (trombone), Rod Mason, Rob Agerbeek (piano) - among many others.

CNIRBS (Germany)

CNIRBS united on a seemingly unmemorable day in the rainy city of Hamburg in order to make their own musical contribution for the amusement of mankind. Their music thrives between wild improvisation and complex global rhythms, bonding folkloristic drinking music, free spheres and solid beats. The whole is fueled by electronic frequencies and vibrates with the energy of a pressure cooker, shortly before bursting.

These fearless three members, equipped with keyboard, wind, percussion instruments, and a variety of flashing lights and mysterious foot pedals, succeed in this musical balancing act with verve and sweaty ease. CNIRBS do their thing leaving their own, unique stamp.
PIJF 2014 Poster
Penang Island Jazz by the Beach Program

Saturday (6th December 2014)
6.40pm – 7.10pm Seth Glier
7.20pm – 8.00pm CNIRBS
8.10pm – 8.50pm Laila Biali Trio 
9.00pm – 9.40pm Monoswezi 
9.50pm – 10.30pm Dutch Swing College Band
10.40pm – 11.20pm Richard Bona Group

Sunday (7th December 2014)
6.30pm – 7.10pm Jo Young Deok Trio
7.20pm – 8.00pm Schroeder-Headz 
8.10pm – 8.50pm Crystal Bowersox
9.00pm – 9.40pm Fresh Dixie Project
9.50pm – 10.30pm Carmen Souza
10.40pm – 11.20pm Jazzhats & Ray featuring Man Kidal

For those planning to visit Penang for the Jazz Festival, you are advised to book your hotels in advance as in December, it is the school holidays therefore getting a hotel in the last minute will not be easy. As the event is held at Batu Feringghi, it is best to stay around here for easy access to the event. 

For those staying in the city of George Town, you must note that the time it takes to get to the event is about 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Therefore it is highly recommended you give at least 90 minutes travel time. There is very little difference in taking a bus or taxi as they both are about the same time. however, taking a bus will cost you only RM1.10 one way versus a taxi which will cost RM35 one way. 

Penang International Jazz Festival Tickets

Additional contact information for Penang Island Jazz Festival 2014, you can contact Paul Augustin +603 20114725 +6012 2967800 / Chin CY +6012 3565544 / Kevin Theseira +6016 3607091or you can email : info@penangjazz.com / chincy@penangjazz.com / kevin@penangjazz.com

You can also visit the official Malaysia Major Events Website for a full list of events that are happening throughout the year. Malaysia Major Events is a division of Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture

For more information, please visit the official Penang Jazz Festival website. You can also buy your Penang Jazz Tickets online from TicketPro. Remember to book your hotel well in advance and plan your trip there for the Penang Island Jazz Festival 2014.

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