Women in Jazz at KWJF 2018


The 2nd annual Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival (KWJF) will be happening on the 28th and 29th September this year at the Grand Margherita Hotel Kuching. The 2-day jazz music festival will feature a total of 14 acclaimed jazz musicians and bands from all over the region including women jazz singers such as Sarawakian songstress Dayang Nurfaizah, Atilia Haron (Malaysia), Carmen Souza (Portugal), The Natalie Gillespie Band (Australia), Alemay Fernandez (Singapore) and Aisyah Aziz (Singapore).

Dayang Nurfaizah’s sultry tone, melodious voice, dazzling vocal prowess and effortless rendering of high pitched ballads has earned her numerous awards since she arrived into the music scene 20 years ago. In 2017 she was the overall winner of Malaysia’s Annual Music Competition, Anugerah Juara Lagu 2016 for the song ‘Lelaki Teragung’. She also bagged the Best Vocal Award after her mesmerizing performance, scoring her a hat-trick for winning in the same category for 3 consecutive years. Dayang Nurfaizah released her 8th studio album last year, a self-titled album that has received rave reviews and media attention. The digital release of her album reached number 1 on Malaysia’s iTunes charts, Top 10 on Spotify Malaysia as well as top releases in Singapore and Brunei and the only Malay language album trending on iTunes at the time of release.

Since the launch of her album Sangkar at the end of March 2007, Atilia Haron, the new name in Malaysian Neo-Jazz has packed venues with her charming stage persona and performances, always well received by the audience. She worked on her album under the guidance and tutelage of the Sultan of Malaysia Soul, Roslan Aziz and the talented Jason Voo. With soothing vocals, juxtaposed with great compositions, lyrics and arrangements, Sangkar is an album categorised as classical and timeless, as most who have heard it would agree. The daughter of 70’s little dynamite, Salamiah Hassan, the musical prodigy, wrote most of the songs in Sangkar together with Jason Voo. A number of songs in the album were contributed by other renowned singers such as Tompi, Indonesia’s Jazz Crooner; Ajai, Malaysia’s foremost producer and songwriter; Will Ng and Yuriz, young and talented Malaysian songwriters.

Born in Portugal to Cape Verdean parents, Carmen Souza fuses her culture’s musical traditions with contemporary jazz, Latin and European music. Her music seeks to explore connections between jazz and Cape Verdean culture. Virtuosic yet warm, stunning and welcoming, Souza, with support from long-time musical collaborator Theo Pascal, captures all the possibilities of her Cape Verdean roots with earthy wisdom and cerebral swing. Discover rhythms like Batuque, Funana, Semba, Quilapanga, Marrabenta from Cabo Verde, Angola, Mozambique together with Afro-Brazilian and Cuban sounds, traveling all the way to the jazz shores of New Orleans.

Natalie Gillespie is one of Perth’s most soulful singers. A passionate storyteller and songwriter, Natalie weaves her heart into her songs, taking her audiences on a journey into her most vulnerable and joyful moments. With 2 albums under her belt, she has toured nationally and internationally and supported an incredible array of International artists. Natalie’s raw, soulful sound and powerful lyrics, melding with the talents of some of the most dynamic musicians gracing the Australian music scene, creates an unforgettable, complex and eclectic emotional landscape.

Hailed by TimeOut magazine as one of Singapore's ‘best-loved entertainers’, Alemay Fernandez is a rising star on the Asian jazz scene. In her illustrious 18-year career, she has performed with the likes of The Count Basie Orchestra, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, David Foster, Gregory Porter, Ernie Watts, Randy Brecker, Antonio Hart, Lewis Nash, Mitch Frohman, Incognito, The Platters' Bobby Soul, William Close & The Earth Harp Collective and opened for Laura Fygi & Benny Golson. Incredibly, she has also sung for A-listers like Kevin Spacey, Ethan Hawke, Joss Stone, Kurt Elling, Lea Salonga, Paloma Picasso, Serena Williams as well as Presidents & Prime Ministers.

Aisyah Aziz started off her career in music after finishing 6th in Akademi Fantasia, one of Malaysia's top rated reality TV programmes. Since then, the Singaporean songstress has released 3 singles, namely 'Mimpi', 'Pilihan Sejati' and most recently 'Tanda Tanya'. Aisyah is also active on Youtube where she produces covers of classic Malay music. Since 2013, Aisyah has been actively performing in Malaysia & Singapore. Aisyah Aziz has also won the award of 'Best Collaboration Song' during Anugerah Planet Muzik 2014.

Among the other star-studded lineup that will be performing at KWJF 2018 are multi-award winning Sarawakian songstress Dayang Nurfaizah, Ito and The Blues Gang (Malaysia), Tulus (Indonesia), Aditya (Indonesia), Tompi (Indonesia) and more!

Apart from giving prominence to the scenic Kuching Waterfront, KWJF was also created by the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) to be a platform to inspire and nurture local music talents. Local band Sang Voyage, who recently won the KWJF Jazz Band Search, will join the lineup representing Sarawak at KWJF 2018. This year’s show will also feature Tuku Kame, who will be serenading the crowd with their jazz infused with traditional Sape’, and local up and coming jazz pianist Jolynn J Chin, fulfilling the organiser’s intention of highlighting the sounds of Sarawak.

KWJF 2018’s Official Media Partner, Astro Radio’s ERA FM will be supporting the showdown with media coverage. The event is expecting a significant increase from the 4000 festival goers that came last year. For the full programme and line-up, do visit www.kuchingwaterfrontjazz.com. Hotel packages and festival tickets can be purchased online at the website or at the Grand Margherita Hotel, Riverside Majestic Hotel or Place Borneo Sdn Bhd. For latest updates, do search Kuching Waterfront Jazz on Facebook and Instagram. Call +6082-555189 or email kuchingwaterfrontjazz@gmail.com for further enquiries. This event is managed by Place Borneo Sdn Bhd.
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