Monday, November 21, 2011
Malaysian jazz aficionados are in for a treat this month when UCSI University launches its Inaugural Contemporary Music Festival. Taking place on the 26th & 27th of November, the two-day festival will be taking place at the South Wing of the University’s Kuala Lumpur campus. As the event wraps up the UCSI Group’s 25th anniversary celebrations, the festival is free for the public. In addition, some of the performing artistes will be hosting workshops and aficionados may benefit from sessions with the masters.
After many months of planning, paired with an impressive lineup of international & Malaysian artistes together. Top of the bill is two-time Grammy Award winning Cuban jazz pianist and composer Gonzalo Rubalcaba who will be flying in from Florida. Having performed before in Japan, this will be Rubalcaba’s first ever gig in Malaysia and the South East Asian region. Rubalcaba’s achievements include 14 Grammy nominations, the Palm d’Or from Paris and, in 2008, the Vanguard Award from the ASCAP Foundation for ‘charting new directions in Jazz’. He has made many recordings, four of which were awarded Jazz Album of the Year in 1995, 1999 and 2002. Rubalcaba will be performing together with his trio on Sunday evening and will also conduct one of the many workshops on Sunday afternoon.
The international lineup continues with performances by Greg Lyons and his London Connection band. Hailing from the North of England, Lyons is well known to audiences in Malaysia and Singapore for his melodic and groove-driven compositions that mix an eclectic range of influences. Greg and members of his band will be playing on Saturday night, after hosting a workshop in the afternoon.
The Malaysian contingent includes the cream of local jazz performers: The Roger Wang Trio, Lewis Pragasam and ASIABEAT and the WVC TRiO+1. Roger Wang is an award-winning composer and is known widely as an acoustic finger-style guitarist. He will be performing on Saturday evening and will be lecturing a masterclass earlier that afternoon. ASIABEAT is the brainchild of Lewis Pragasam and is an on-going, ever evolving project to explore and experiment with the synthesis of ethnic Asian and contemporary music. ASIABEAT can be enjoyed during the concert on Sunday evening. The WVC TRiO+1 was formed by well-known Malaysian jazz pianist Tay Cher Siang. Cher Siang and his band have performed in Malaysia, China, Singapore, and Thailand. Their third album ‘In the Dark I see Her’ was released in 2010 in conjunction with the Taichung Jazz Festival held in Taiwan. WVC TRiO+1 will be playing on Saturday evening and Cher Siang‘s workshop will be held on Saturday afternoon.
UCSI University School of Music’s very own faculty and student band will be performing on Sunday evening. This band, featuring up to 21 performers accentuating compositions and arrangements by UCSI's very own faculty members, promises to provide a rousing close to the festival on Sunday.
The 2-day concert will be held on the Hill Top Stage within the South Wing. There will also be a Community Stage which will host performances by invited and auditioned local students and amateur bands. This is situated between Blocks B and C of the South Wing, Kuala Lumpur campus.
The Hill Top performances on Saturday and Sunday evenings begin at 7.00pm and admission is free of charge. The workshops will run concurrently within the Recital Hall and Auditorium of Block C from 2.00 to 6.00pm on both days, together with the Community Stage performances.
*Admission for Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s workshop is RM50, where else all other workshops cost RM30 per workshop.
You can find look up the artiste's performances here:
Gonzalo Rubalcaba on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egiYTZKB8zo
Greg Lyons on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd0YPH1x11c
Roger Wang on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN0epEwbo_Y
Lewis Pragasam on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oE02OpBcCw
WVC Trio on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e61DMUvWduU
For more info, visit here.