Tritha from North India to perform at AMF 2013 Sarawak

Tritha from North India

Tritha from North India to perform at AMF 2013 Sarawak

Miri will resonate with the sound of music as the inaugural Asia Music Festival takes place at the Eastwood Valley Golf & Country Club on the 4 & 5 October 2013. 13 Asian bands from the Philippines, Korea, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Brunei have confirmed to perform at this festival. Among them will be the talented Tritha from India that will make her first ever performance at the Asia Music Festival in Sarawak.

Tritha was born in Kolkata. She started training in North Indian classical music at the age of five, and never stopped. She has forged her own unique, inclusive sound and has already gained critical and popular acclaim for her songs. Tritha’s dusky tones and throbbing intensity, vibrating and moving emotional commitment, thrills her audience and leaves the public spell bound.

For the past four years Tritha has also toured in Europe, including performances in famous venues such as Lieu Unique (Nantes), Il Posto (Verona), La Bellevilloise, Cabaret Sauvage, Bus Palladium, Satellit Café and St Eustache Church (Paris). She is a true global artist, always eager to discover new cultures and sounds.

As a woman, Tritha has suffered her share of harassment and discrimination in her country. She feels that her live performances, as well as her recent success as an original musician in India, are giving confidence to other women to assert themselves and follow their dreams. She is an ardent supporter of women’s rights in the country.

She includes her ideas in her songs with “Lyrics that deal with women’s liberation, social oppression and sexual exploitation” (Hindustan Times). In June 2012, she was featured on a full page in Marie Claire India as one among the ten most interesting young Indian women, and also that same month, in Tehelka Magazine. Tritha’s picture has been traveling all over the world in 2011 and 2012 with the exhibition Women Changing India, organized by the Magnum Photo Agency and BNP Paribas.

Asia Music Festival Tickets are still available at Visitor’s Information Centres in Miri (085-434180). For enquiries, contact Sarawak Tourism Board at 082-423600 or log on to http://www.asiamusicfestival.net and http://www.facebook.com/VisitSarawak for more updates. You can also view a list of the other Music Festivals in Sarawak.

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Fakhrul Razi from Brunei to perform at Asia Music Festival 2013

Fakhrul Razi Brunei

 

Fakhrul Razi from Brunei to perform at Asia Music Festival 2013

Fakhrul Razi was the only Bruneian who got into the final stage of the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) that took place in Hollywood, California earlier this year. He will perform in Miri, Sarawak for the first edition of Asia Music Festival held at the Eastwood Valley Golf & Country Club this Friday and Saturday. He will also be performing alongside with one of Miri’s top local bands – Camouflage.

As an independent Brunei singer-songwriter, he began writing his own songs when he was 14 years old. He has performed in numerous shows and events in Bruneiand International arenas since 2004. Against his career in the music scene, he is also a TV host for the morning show Rampai Pagi at Radio Televisyen (RTB), a Radio announcer at Kristal FM, an independent radio station in Brunei and one of the most sought emcees for important and exclusive event in Brunei Darussalam.

Fakrul had impressed the judges and crowd at WCOPA in Hollywood as he won gold medals in the R&B/Jazz, Original Works and Open Vocal (Male) categories. He had also won two silver medals for the Broadway and Pop categories. At Asia Music Festival, Fakrul will also perform together with local band from Miri, Camouflage.

Other than Fakrul, there will be 7 other international bands will be performing at Asia Music Festival, namely Bembol Rockers (Philippines), VSTAR featuring Kamal Musallam (Korea), Anthony Dassan Yen Party Band (South India), Orkes Soesah Tideor (Indonesia), Foxy Girls (Indonesia), Boy Thai Band (Thailand) and Tritha (North India).

Camouflage Miri

Camouflage Band from Miri, Sarawak

Not forgotten, the Malaysian bands, among them are Melissa Francis, Starlet Band, The Mountain Wind Band, Hevance Band and Sarawak very own Bob from the famous Malaysian TV program, Akademi Fantasia.AMF promises the most electrifying eclectic, mix-genre of live music comprising bands from the Asian region that will thrill the crowds.

The Festival tickets are still on sale at all STB’s office and Visitors Information Centre located at Old Court House, Kuching (+6 082-410944), Jalan Melayu, Miri (+6 085-434180) and Jalan Tukang Besi, Sibu (+6 084-340980), Curtin University Sarawak Campus and Eastwood Valley Golf & Country Club (+6 085-421010).

Entry tickets are priced at RM30 for adults and RM15 for children/students aged 3-18 (ID required during entry). Information and updates about the festival is available at http://www.asiamusicfestival.net and http://www.facebook.com/SarawakTravel.

Bembol Rockers to play at Asia Music Festival Sarawak

Bembol Rockers

Bembol Rockers to play at Asia Music Festival Sarawak

If you were a huge fan of Elvis, the Rat Pack, Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk and Plas Johnson or if you want to try something new, then check out the Bembol Rockers at Asia Music Festival (AMF) held at 4th and 5th October at Miri, Sarawak. This band from Philippines formed since the Summer of 2006 consisting of Marc Liwanag on guitar and vocals, Lakshmi Kirtan das Ramirez on upright bass and vocals, Archimedes Archie Lacorte on tenor and alto sax, and Steven Hamilton Vasquez Mora on drum.

The music that they create, that is what making them so special. A lot of other bands tried to do jazz or rockabilly, but no one tried to combine these two types of music and that is exactly what Bambol Rockers do. A lot of music that they are playing are originals. They use the superiority of sound of their kundiman-rockabilly mish-mash and adds a element of Filipino pride.

But their main goal is to go back to the classics they all love and recover a new appreciation for it in light of today’s world. Their intention is to influence the younger generation to take a look at the past and see where their music comes from, to create a renewed interest in the Golden Fifties. Not just for the music, but the lifestyle, the dancing and the vintage attire, as well. They also want to make their mark on the Original Pilipino Music scene and help raise its level of artistry. They want to be remembered for music that is positive and fun.

Other bands that have been confirmed for this first year event are VSTAR featuring Kamal Musallam (Korea), Anthony Dassan Yen Party Band (South India), Orkes Soesah Tideor (Indonesia), Foxy Girls (Indonesia), Boy Thai Band (Thailand), Tritha (North India) and Fakhrul Razi (Brunei).

There will also be bands and singers from Malaysia and among them are Melissa Francis, Starlet Band, The Mountain Wind Band, Hevance Band and Sarawak very own Bob from the famous Malaysian TV program, Akademi Fantasia.

Entry tickets are priced at RM30 for adults and RM15 for children/students aged 3-18 (ID required during entry). Tickets available from all STB’s office and Visitors Information Centre located at Old Court House, Kuching (+6 082-423600), Jalan Melayu, Miri (+6 085-434180) and Jalan Tukang Besi, Sibu (+6 084-340980). For enquiries, contact Sarawak Tourism Board at leisure@sarawaktourism.com or +6 082-239171 or log on to http://www.asiamusicfestival.net and http://www.facebook.com/SarawakTravel for more updates.

Borneo Eco Film Festival

Borneo Eco Film Festival partners with WWF

Borneo Eco Film Festival

WWF joins the party at Borneo Eco Film Festival

This year’s Borneo Eco Film Festival 2013 is set to be more exciting with the coming on board of WWF-Malaysia as its official partner in Boleh Bah Filem Kita! The festival, which will be held from Sept 27 to 29, aims to highlight the relationship between local people and Borneo’s natural heritage through the showcasing of environmental films.

The “Boleh Bah Filem Kita!”, which is one of the core events of the festival, is an eco-film competition where local film-makers show how people relate to their environment through a short-film. WWF-Malaysia executive director and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma described the partnership as synergistic.”The annual film festival aims to celebrate Borneo’s bio-cultural diversity and WWF-Malaysia has the mission to achieve a future where people live in harmony with nature.

“We are pleased to support this event as their goals are very much in line with ours. The relationship between people and their natural environment has never been so vulnerable,” he said in a statement, yesterday.WWF-Malaysia believes that a better future can be achieved with awareness and education and the BEFF is an exemplary platform for this, he added.

To encourage more participation, WWF-Malaysia will present a special award for the best video theme on the proposed Tun Mustapha Park, the largest marine protected area in Malaysia once it is gazetted. The film must be under 10 minutes, shot in Borneo by people who live in Borneo, and the submission date has been extended from Aug 15 to Aug 31, while admission to the three-day film festival is free.

Besides that, the festival also aims to nurture film-making among local communities through a series of workshops named SUARA Komuniti where the local communities will have the chance to tell their own stories with their own voices. WWF-Malaysia is supporting community members from Semporna Priority Conservation Area and the proposed Tun Mustapha Park to participate and benefit from the film-making workshops. For information, visit the official website for the Borneo Eco Film Festival 2013.

Borneo World Music Expo 2013 all set to take center stage

BWME 2013

Borneo World Music Expo 2013 all set to take center stage

Sarawak is all set to play host to another exciting event, the Borneo World Music Expo, the inaugural exposition for professionals and trade visitors within the international music scene. The Borneo World Music Expo (known affectionately as the BWME) which is going to be held from 24 to the 26 June in Kuching, Sarawak is happening just a few days before the very established Rainforest World Music Festival which will be held on the 28 to 30 June.

While the Rainforest Festival is about entertainment, the Expo is about the trade, networking, information dissemination and business behind the entertainment industry – concentrating on the World Music genre. The Expo seeks to be the market place where professionals come to present their services or to hire.

Being a musician or a band is not just about playing music but it is also about how to present and market the music, the image, the branding. It’s about how to get one’s information and music to the right people. On the other side of the coin, programmers need to have a big pool with vast variety to consider and to choose from when it comes to selecting the line-up for their events. The Borneo World Music Expo is just about bringing the two parties together where they will have a chance to show and tell and buy and sell.

The Expo, guided by the very experienced hands of Gerald Seligman, who was until November of 2009, General Director of WOMEX, the very well established world music Expo, in Berlin, has selected and invited programmers from all over the world to come to Sarawak Borneo where several showcase bands from Eastern and Asian regions are going to present their performances.

The Expo is also opened to everyone who wants to come and network and share, distribute their press kits, create more awareness of
their own music events, meet and extend their contacts. It seeks to be the open arena for everyone in the music industry to use it as a meeting place. The business of running music events also involve potential sponsors, media, event managers, entertainment venues, marketing companies, audio-visual services and equipment, record labels. For all these people, the BWME is going to be a useful tool and guide.

But it’s not all about just live shows and a bustling market place. There are daytime conferences that are informative and educational. There are panels of experienced professionals discussing aspects of the music industry and brainstorming discussions. In the words of Isabel Soffer founder of Live Sounds from New York,” I am coming to Sarawak with the hope of discovering new artists, traditions and cultures from Asia. Southeast Asia in particular is underrepresented in the US performing arts field and I hope to be able to make connections with artists, presenters, agents, and sponsors to begin bridging that gap”.

Sonya Mazumdar, Founder/CEO of EarthSync, a world music production house from India and an invited programmer, has this to say; “Asia’s rich musical tapestry needs to be featured much more in world music programming. A conscious effort is needed to create relevant platforms for collaborations and markets to showcase both traditional and contemporary acts”

The expo is supported by Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency established by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia to further strengthen and position Malaysia as a major events hub for the region and Sarawak Convention Bureau.

Those interested to sign up as delegates to the conference can still do so. Delegate fee is RM360 inclusive of conference materials, lunch and 2 tea-breaks. For the public who are interested in watching the night showcases, tickets can be bought online or at the entrance and cost of these shows are only RM30. More information on this inaugural event can be found at the BWME 2013 Website.

135 Volunteers selected for RWMF 2013

RWMF 2013 Volunteers

135 Volunteers selected for RWMF 2013

The 16th edition of Rainforest World Music Festival 2-13 (RWMF) are welcoming 135 volunteers among the public. The volunteers will get an opportunity to gain experience, working at this annual music festival that ranked among the best 25 international festivals in the world.

The festival Secretariat received more than 400 applicants from 5 countries worldwide over the last few months. 50 will work in the Schleppers unit who will actively involve executing the logistics, technical and operational aspects on stage. The remaining volunteers will work at the Secretariat, Media Centre, Merchandise stalls, Access Control, Survey and other smaller festival segments.

“It has been a tradition of the festival, providing this platform to the volunteers among the public to gain experience in managing the event”, said Director of Corporate Communications – Sarawak Tourism Board, Madam Angelina Bateman. Adding to that, most of the applicants were received from those who highly qualified. Thus the festival depends much on their expertise and interest, she added.

Every year, RWMF is like a family ‘get-together’ when most of them return to volunteer at the festival. The commitments from the volunteers are wonderful and they are ready to help while enjoying their job at the festival. The RWMF Artistic Director, Ms Jun Lin said, “Working on a big many-layered production like the Rainforest fest is complex, hard work and 600% concentration. Having a strong and supportive team is essential. Then we all have a great festival”.

The festival provides the volunteers with complimentary entry to the festival, accommodation as well as Festival’s T-Shirt which to be worn while on duty. They will also receive a certificate of volunteering, which will make an additional reference in their biographies. The volunteers will work on shifts during 3-days event over the weekend from 28-30 June.

135 volunteers will be assigned to look after 21 bands confirmed for the RWMF this year. The bands are Rafly Wa Saja (Acheh, Indonesia), Mohsen Sharifian & The Lian Band (Iran), Nunukul Yuggera (Australia), Habadekuk (Denmark), Dizu Plaatjies & The Ibuyambo Ensemble (South Africa), Spiritual Seasons (Ukraine), Pine Leaf Boys (USA), Chet Nuneta (France), Rey Vallenato Beto Jamaica (Columbia), Kries (Croatia), Kila (Ireland), Alp Bora (Austria) and Palsandae : Korean Performing Arts (Korea).

The international bands will be joined by Sarawak and Malaysian bands like Madeeh (Bidayuh traditional root), Juk Wan Emang (nose flute of Kayan), Native Chanting (oral blessings from the various indigenous tribes of Borneo), Maya Green (Sape), Rhythm in Bronze (Gong and Gamelan), Lan E’ Tuyang (Sape and Orang Ulu dance), Sarawak Drums (percussion instruments of Sarawak) and Shangyin Chinese Chamber Music Ensemble (Chinese traditional interwoven with Sarawak flavour).

Before the RWMF, there will be the Borneo World Music Expo 2013 which is being held at Kuching’s Pullman Hotel from the 24-26 June 2013 as a build up to the main event. This is also the first time the event is being held  here where it includes conferences, workshops, networking sessions, trade fair and musical showcases. The event is targeted for musician and artists to develop new contacts and global reach.

RWMF Tickets are priced at: RM120 for adults and RM60 for children aged 3 to 12 are now available on line at www.ticketcharge.com.my. A 3-day pass for adults costing RM330 and RM160 for children aged 3 to 12 are also available. For last minute attendees, please double check your accommodations as usually all the hotels would be sold out. More details available on website at www.rwmf.net. See you at the Rainforest World Music Festival 2013 in Sarawak, Borneo.

Rainforest World Music Festival Sarawak

RWMF 2013

Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak

Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) is happening on this June 28-30 at the Sarawak Cultural Village which is just out of Kuching city. YB Datuk Amar Abang Zohari Tun Abang Haji Openg – Minister of Housing & Minister of Tourism, Sarawak announced this today at a press conference held at Plaza Merdeka, Kuching.

The Minister also proudly announced the ‘BrandLaureate Country Branding Award 2012-2013’ awarded to the festival in a glittering ceremony in Kuala Lumpur recently. The BrandLaureate Awards is the Grammy Awards for branding and the No.1 branding awards in the Asia Pacific and is endorsed by the King of Malaysia.

Once again this year, the Festival was voted for the 4th consecutive year as the top 25 best International Festivals by the renowned world music magazine, Songlines, in UK. The winning award and recognition has elevated its status in the international music scene as a festival which has well and truly put Sarawak on the world tourism map. It also extends its appeal to shores further from neighbouring countries.

rwmf

Through Sarawak Tourism Board’s promotional and marketing effort overseas, RWMF packages are promoted from as far as London and the regions nearby like Brunei and also Peninsula Malaysia. These travel packages enable visitors to come and visit Sarawak not only for the festival but also to explore and experience the adventure in Sarawak.

This year will be another exciting year and the organizer has promised the best line-up on stage from 21 bands which consist of 13 international and 8 Malaysian bands playing a diverse range of world music genres. The festival will continue its unique formula of having the afternoon informative musical workshops, ethno-musical lectures, jamming session and mini concerts held in the ethnic houses within the village. This session precedes the evening performances on two main stages outdoor with the jungle ambience.

The festival will showcase more of Sarawak’s local talent compared to the previous years. This is in line with the feedback received from the festival-goers from the previous festivals. The chances of sharing the same stage with international acts will enable our local musicians to be exposed to the international music scene. Amongst the wide range of traditional music from Sarawak to be featured this time will be the rare and dying art of the nose flute as well as Sarawak and Malaysian folk music interwoven with Chinese traditional instruments.

RWMF Malaysia

The exciting and eclectic line-up for this year’s RWMF has now been finalized. To date, the organizers have confirmed performers from Indonesia (Rafly Wa Saja), Iran (Mohsen Sharifian & The Lian Band), Australia (Nunukul Yuggera), Denmark (Habadekuk), South Africa (Dizu Plaatzies & The Ibuyambo Ensemble), Ukraine (Spiritual Seasons), USA (Pine Leaf Boys), France (Chet Nuneta), Columbia (Rey Vallenato Beto Jamaica), Croatia (Kries), Ireland (Kila), Austria (Alp Bora) and Korea (Palsandae). They will be joined by Sarawak and Malaysian bands like Madeeh (Bidayuh traditional root), Juk Wan Emang (nose flute of Kayan), Native Chanting (oral blessings from the various indigenous tribes of Borneo), Maya Green (Sape), Rhythm in Bronze (Gong and Gamelan), Lan E Tuyang (Sape and Orang Ulu dance), Sarawak Drums (percussion instruments of Sarawak) and Shangyin Chinese Chamber Music Ensemble (Chinese traditional interwoven with Sarawak flavour).

For most visitors to the state, the Rainforest World Music Festival is a not-to-be-missed occasion, guaranteeing a smashing time of a visit to Malaysia. RWMF is where people from different culture, backgrounds and music interests will come together to have the time of their lives.

Daily tickets priced at RM120 for adults and RM60 for children aged 3 to 12 are now available on line at http://www.ticketcharge.com.my. A 3-day pass for adults costing RM330 and RM160 for children aged 3 to 12 are also available.

For 2013, the Organizers hope to attract a crowd of 23,000 for the 3 nights against the 22,290 festival attendees in 2012. Out of this, the Board hopes to attract 80% visitors from outside Sarawak. This will thus augur well for the local business community and also contribute to a significant number of visitors’ arrivals into Sarawak as a whole. For more information, log on to http://www.rwmf.net

Borneo Jazz Festival 2013

BJF 2013

Borneo Jazz Festival 2013

The Borneo Jazz Festival 2013 full line-up was announced by Sarawak Tourism Board for the 8th edition of this stunning jazz festival that is set to take place at Parkcity Everly Hotel in Miri, Sarawak from 10-11 May this year. As after a successful 7 festivals, this year’s festival will be the most diverse in term of musical genres that would cater to all types of jazz fans.

This is also dubbed to be among the prestigious Jazz Festival in Malaysia and set to draw bigger number of fans this year, the festival will see for the first time, the energetic spicy groovy funk group from Germany, Mo’Blow who are described by Berliner Zeitung as “one of the hottest live bands”. The other international act confirmed is Hazmat Modine from the East-Coast of USA. Their song “Bahamut” will be used on the Fox television show “So You Think You Can Dance?.

The other international acts confirmed for the Borneo Jazz this year include, the energetic and toe-tapping music by Jump4Joy from Sweden that is popular energy entertainment group with a strong New Orleans flavor. A capella jazz group from Canada, The Nylons well known for their slick performance and most heralded vocal groups in the world with seven gold and platinum records. Represented by members from Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines and Thailand, The Asian Jazz All Stars Power Quarter is the big names
of the Asian jazz circle, which consists of the most innovative and exciting drummers to emerge in the Asian jazz scene. Scott Martin Latin Soul Band from West-Coast of USA has performed all over the world with many artists but best known for his successful tenure winning a Grammy. Last but not least, the ethno jazz musician and artist from Australia, Lisa Young Quartet the winner of “Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album 2007” and was re-nominated in 2012.

As the Borneo Jazz name suggest, the organizer wish that the Borneo element to be presented by the local talent on this international platform. Deserved to be on stage will be the West Jazz Band from Sarawak who will play the fusion jazz and everything from Swing to Latin to electrifying funk jazz music.

Sarawak Tourism Board will also continue with its internship and volunteer programme, which was first initiated in 2011. “In this program we will provide a unique learning experience for international volunteers and interns whilst at the same time being exposed to the product experiences of Sarawak’s culture, nature and adventure on the island of Borneo” says Dato’ Rashid Khan, Chief Executive Office of Sarawak Tourism Board. The Board will also collaborate with the academia as part of an industry advisory platform in enhancing the quality of graduates that is relevant to the need of the industry and to undertake this initiative as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility program. The aim is to have majority of the students participating in this program from outside Sarawak. This is another step towards bringing the festival to the international stage. STB will also invite school bands to perform at the venue to expose them to such an international event.

The Board is also collaborating with the private sector to design packages to attract visitors not only from neighbouring Brunei and Singapore but also from the region and overseas. With these travel packages, visitors would be able to attend the festival and at the same time they can travel to various places of interest within Miri and its surrounding.

Apart from the main shows on 10-11 May, the event will consist of Previews on the 7 & 8 May in Kuala Lumpur. There will also be fringe events comprising of Craft Bazaar that offered to local craftsmen and artisans as a venue to display the local handicrafts and arts for sale.

Since the past few editions of Borneo Jazz, the Board has sought to lessen the carbon footprint of the festival by following green initiatives during the festival. This year, the Board will continue organizing a tree planting ceremony that will be held at Curtin University Sarawak campus in Miri.

Borneo Jazz has grown steadily since its first edition in 2005, going from 3,000 spectators eight years ago to over 8,000 last year. This growth is a reflection of the successful plan and promotion by the Board over these years. In a whole, it is also a sign of growing appeal of jazz enthusiast around the region.

Organiser is expecting an influx of 9,000 fans from both local and international for this year’s two-days festival. This will thus augur well for the local business community and also contribute to a significant number of visitor’s arrivals into Sarawak as a whole. The festival will also have stalls selling a wide variety of local and fusion food and beverages as well as stalls selling festival memorabilia at the venue.

Tickets for the main shows are priced at RM63 for adults and RM33 for children aged 3-12 and RM103 for a 2-day pass for adults and RM53 for children. All tickets available on Internet purchase only at http://www.jazzborneo.com or http://www.ticketcharge.com.my. For enquiries, contact STB Leisure & Property at leisure@sarawaktourism.com (email) or +6 082-239171 (office hours only, 8:00AM – 5:00PM) This festival is organized by Sarawak Tourism Board, supported by the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia and Ministry of Tourism Sarawak and endorsed by Tourism Malaysia for the 8th edition of the Borneo Jazz Festival 2013.