Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival 2013




Jazz here, jazz there, jazz everywhere. If you’re a fan, you should be happy that jazz has been spreading like a virus, infecting more and more land, not just in its origin but in the far away nations that traditionally might not related to this genre at all. Let’s talk more specifically about the South East Asia. Today there are many jazz festivals being held with so many success stories. While in Indonesia we have no less than 40 jazz festivals at present time, here comes the great news from one of our closest neighbouring countries, Malaysia. Attention jazz lovers in Malaysian Peninsular and nearby, a huge jazz storm is heading your way! The 2nd edition of Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival (KLIJF) 2013 will swing the bright light big cosmopolitan city of KL from April 27 to 30, 2013. Around 75 acts involving 200 performers will set KL on fire. The Festival kicks off with the KLIJF Earth Day Run on April 21, 2013 at the University of Malaya and closes with the International Jazz Day on April 30, 2013. It’s going to be 4 days of great music, food, art, crafts and lots of fun.

After a great one in 2012, this festival is back with an impressive line-up of 35 international acts and more than 40 local acts, the  4 day  festival is organized by KL International Jazz Sdn. Bhd. and supported by Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), under the patronage of the Honourable Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Yang Berbahagia Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib. The KL International Jazz Sdn Bhd was established in 2011. As the producer and promoter of the Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival. KLIJ intends to play an active role in promoting jazz locally through their integrated programs which will be implemented throughout the year and to assist in promoting Kuala Lumpur as a leading jazz festival destination in the region. Co- Founder and Managing Director of the KLIJF  Rodin JS Kumar mentioned that  “Jazz Festivals all over the world attract very large audiences because  of  its appeal to a wide genre of jazz, blues, funk, soul and classic rock audiences.  The ambience at Jazz Festivals is very different from a closed door single jazz concert. That is why Jazz Festivals all over the major capital cities continue to grow and the KL International  Jazz Festival is making its mark as a world class Jazz Festival.”


As how a world class jazz festival should be made, the KLIJF will provide high variety of jazz. In 4 days you will be able to enjoy many styles from contemporary/smooth jazz, straight ahead, mainstream, nu-jazz, fusion, big band, latin, funk, R&B/pop jazz, blues all the way to electro swing from multi-national artistes. The headline features international superstars such as guitarists Lee Ritenour and Fourplay’s current guitarist Chuck Loeb. Representing Indonesia is our own jazz icon Indra Lesmana. Most likely he will perform with LLW with the possibility of collaborating with Chuck Loeb. The unique pianist David Helbock is back again to South East Asia after a stunning performance at Java Jazz Festival 2013 earlier this month. The inspiring pianist/composer Keiko Matsui who has been playing borderless music for many years, ranging from peaceful jazz that can come so close to spiritual tunes with some classical elements, new age and everything in between is officially confirmed.

Based on our experience, Soil and “Pimp” Sessions never failed to grab big number of audience in two editions of Java Jazz Festival. No doubt, this explosive, very aggresive and edgy band from Japan is ready to blast KL audience the way they did in Indonesia. Also from The Land of the Rising Sun, a reed quartet Kazutoki Umezu Kiki Band is ready to breathe new thing in the festival.

The percussionist originally from New York but now resides in KL, Steve Thornton will show how good he can produce infectious beat over his congas and set of percussions. Special for the KLIJF 2013, Thornton will pay a special tribute to Mongo Santamaria, the legendary Afro-Cuban Latin Jazz percussionist. It was Santamaria who actually inspired Thornton to be the artist he is today. As Steve is a very close friend to Indonesian jazz scene, another friend that we see on the list is pianist Jeremy Monteiro, the maestro who’s labelled as “Singapore’s King of Swing” by local press.

Moving on to more female stars, the daughter of Nina Simone who named herself as simple as Simone will be there too. As a singer and songwriter, she’s able to transcend the echoes and tradition of her legendary mother. The American sax lady Jessy J, the jazz vocalist of the new generation with distinctive vocal character from Poland: Aga Zaryan and the peerless interpreter of jazz and pop who’s really connected to the music of the 70’s Nicole Henry are all ready to join the party. Still on the ladies’ side, a South Korean female pianist JB is in the lineup with her group, “JB” Jangeun Bae Trio. From Texas comes Helen Sung, a pianist who made it to the DownBeat Critics Poll in 2012, Helen Sung with her The (Re)Conception +1 Project.

From the banger’s corner, a drummer born in Bordeaux with roots in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly known as Zaire), Roger “KEMP” Biwandu will demonstrate his colorful beating which is inspired by artists ranging from Steward Copeland, Jeff Porcaro and Omar Hakim among other names. Move far to the Land of Oz, The Subterraneans will bring the impression as if Bob Marley and Led Zeppelin joins in contemporary jazz expression. Ex-Billy Cobham guitarist Carl Orr will also rock the stage with his rock fusion Quartet. Other than Roger, there are three other bands coming from/related to France. The lounge-ish nu-jazz sensation Club des Belugas, pianist Baptiste Trotignon and the French Sumo, a mainstream jazz and Latin band formed by three messieurs on a Hong Kong seaside 17 years ago. From Finland, saxophonist Timo Lassy will bring his five-piece band consisting Finnish fellow musicians.

The festival also boasts such names as the highly rated Alto Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa. Not many musicians dare to explore the possibilities of creating music like this fellow. As he lives with progressive jazz, as a second generation of Indian-American he’s also digging the South Indian music, resulting a new hybrid where jazz and Indian music blends harmoniously along with electronica, most especially brought by his multi-cultural ensemble named Samdhi. You’ll be surprise to find jazz in Carnatic musical pattern from him. Meanwhile, a New Zealander Nathan Haines, an internationally renowned saxophonist/vocalist who also work as producer and composer with career spanning for 2 decades will invade the festival with his unique tenor sax playing.

Beside Steve Thornton, there will be many Malaysian bands/artists to join this 2nd edition of the festival too. saxophonist Patrick Terbrack who currently works as a lecturer at University Teknologi MARA and the director of Kuala Lumpur Youth Jazz Orchestra is going to pour his expressive and soulful hard swinging to you. The urban party where jazz, soul, hip hop and R&B lives on is the main dish of Basement Syndicate, while John Thomas & Phunk Mob which consists of talented young drummer John Ashley Thomas with other Malaysia’s finest young jazz musicians, including Tok Khon, the keyboardist/music director of Atilia whom we just met several weeks ago at the Java Jazz Festival 2013.  Other than the Phunk Mob, John Thomas will also bring his trio to the stage. UM Big Band, John Dip Silas and many, many more from the local source will give their contribution as well.

If those names are still not enough, there will be two other stages, “Creative Stage” and “Acoustic Stage”, set to be an open-mic affair. These stages are prepared to show case the numerous young and upcoming talents in the country and to provide then an opportunity  and platform to express their creative  music.


As we’ve mentioned earlier, Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival 2013 will happen from 27 to 30 April 2013, divided into:
KLIJF Main Festival (Saturday, 27 and Sunday 28 April 2013) at the KLIJF Festival Village at University of Malaya
Master Classes and Workshops (Monday, 29 April 2013)
The Celebration of the International Jazz Day (Tuesday, 30 April 2013) at University of Malaya

All the highlights and the list of performers in each session can be found in here: http://www.klinternationaljazz.com/?page_id=922. (Note: keep checking the page to get the most recent updates)

Pre-sale tickets for the KLIJF 2013  range from RM 45 per day for the Festival Village and RM 98 – RM 168 for the all excess pass for a day. All Excess ticket holders  will be entitled to the village stage as well as all the  in-door shows at the Dewan Tunku Chancellor and Experimental Theatre.

As the Chairman and Co- Founder Pn Maizon Omar stated that jazz Festivals are one of the most sustainable music festivals in the world that is widely supported both by the public and private sector and mentioned Jazz Festivals as a community centric event and a major tourist attraction, for you, our readers in Malaysia especially those who live in the Peninsular and nearby, you can take part in this big jazz movement in Malaysia by simply attending the festival. No matter how many supports the festival got from sponsors, it won’t be done in excellence without your participation. Jazzuality as one of the media partners is excited and ready to fly to KL and cover the whole scene. After Jakarta, the other metropolitan city KL is ready to have its sky painted in multi-color of jazz. They are ready to serve the party, are you ready to have it? Mark your calendar, grab the ticket and see you at the event!

Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival

27/4 Festival and Concerts, 11:00 am – Midnight
28/4 Festival and Concerts, 11:00 am – Midnight
29/4 Master Classes, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
30/4 Concert “International Jazz Day” Celebration, 5:00 pm – Midnight

Purchase tickets at:
– http://tickethotline.com.my (hotline: +60 3 7725 1177)
– http://ticket2u.biz (hotline: +60 3 4147 8600

For more info, do contact:
– charles@klinternationaljazz.com
– afiq@klinternationaljazz.com

Tel: +60 3 5637 7742/5637 1539
Fax: +60 3 5637 7458

For more info, log on to the official website: http://klinternationaljazz.com