theborneopost | Sneak preview of STB’s Borneo Jazz Festival at Ming Café on Wednesday

MIRI: Jazz music fans gathered at Ming Café here for a musical showcase it co-hosted with Sarawak Tourism Board on Wednesday evening.

The event serves as a special sneak preview leading up to the 12th edition of STB’s Borneo Jazz Festival (BJF) to be held at Parkcity Everly Hotel here today and tomorrow.

The showcase attracted a jazz-loving audience of over 100 who came to enjoy a live performance by a jazz band that will be making its debut at the annual BJF, CaboCuba Jazz from the Netherlands.

“This is our first time in Borneo and we are excited to entertain our jazz-loving audience, and looking forward to spend a lovely time here,” said a member of the jazz band, Nils Fischer.

Nils said the band’s name describes it all – a fast-paced mash of Cuban and Cape Verde melodies and dance rhythms, seasoned with plenty of on-stage improvisations.

“Jazz music has always been a music which embraces all kinds of influences and our band tries to reflect that by bringing Cuban and African music together with jazz.”

Local bands Finger Basket and Mountain Wind Band joined in to entertain the crowd.

Based in the Netherlands, the group comprises eight musicians from Venezuela, Cape Verde, Colombia, Spain, Puerto Rica and Cuba, led by powerhouse Dina Medina who was Best Female Singer of Cape Verde in 2012.

Their CD ‘Rikeza y Valor’ was nominated in four categories for the Latin Grammy Awards and nominated four times at the Cabo Verde Music Awards in 2012, while the band itself has been touring the world and performing in the Havana Jazz Festival in 2014 and an Israel tour in 2016.

A mix of melancholic Cape Verde melodies and vigorous Cuban dance rhythms, Latin Beat Magazine sums up CaboCuba’s genre of movement-inducing music in three words: seductive, inspirational and passionate.

CaboCuba Jazz will be joined by bands from Japan, South Africa, Italy, USA, Taiwan and other countries from around the world in performing at the festival.

The festival will be expanding its musical outreach programme for aspiring musicians to learn the basics of jazz keyboard from professional musicians, and take advantage of additional classes for percussions.

The festival includes night performances with sitting and dancing areas and a wide lawn for night picnics, surrounded by arts, crafts and food stalls.