theborneopost | Malaysia’s jazz maestro Veerapen joins Borneo Jazz 2017

KUCHING: Acclaimed Malaysian jazz musician Michael Veerapen will be performing alongside Michael Simon’s Asian Connection at this year’s Borneo Jazz, taking place at the ParkCity Everly Hotel in Miri from May 12 to 13.

Veerapen is very well-known in the Malaysian jazz scene, having been with the funk-fusion band Asia Beat with Lewis Pragasam and established himself not only as a musician, but also as a producer, record studio head and mentor.

Even at 60 and with many achievements under his belt, Veerapen intends to pursue a Master’s Degree in Music at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). He is now working on a research paper focusing on local jazz composers such as Alfonso Soliano, Tan Sri P Ramlee and Jimmy Boyle.

He will also be leading one of the festival’s outreach programmes, where the performers will conduct talks and tutorials with young aspiring musicians.

His slot ‘I Want to Break Free! – The Art of Improvising at the Keyboards’ is scheduled on Saturday, May 13 running from 9.30am to 11am.

“On one hand, there is a group that lacks basic knowledge such as reading notes. On the other is a group with lots of knowledge but little understanding of what’s happening on the ground,” Veerapan was quoted to have said during a media interview earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Borneo Jazz 2017 will gather bands from around the world such as Japan, South Africa, Italy, USA, the Netherlands, Canada and Taiwan.

Apart from night performances and stalls selling arts, crafts and food, the event will also host a series of musical outreach sessions, where aspiring musicians can learn the basics of jazz keyboarding and also percussions from professional musicians.