Monday, June 18, 2012

The Maple Syrup Rag

Last night we played the 6th annual KK Jazz Festival in Malaysia.
Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival is an annual fund raising jazz extravaganza organized by the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu (RCKK) with the support of the Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu Sabah (SPArKS). Money raised from the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival is used to fund deserving community projects by the Rotary Club Kota Kinabalu .

The Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival 2012 was held on the 15th & 16th June 2012 at the Covered Tennis Court, Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf & Country Club.

We were so happy to share the stage with so many great artists and we made so many new friends, as well as reuniting with our hosts.

Roger Wang really did an amazing job organizing the festival, booking the acts and designing the space. I told him that even though it was a huge outdoor covered space, it still felt intimate, like a club. The lighting really transformed the place. The audience was so receptive and interactive. They got to see acts on 2 different stages and mingle around tables or sit in concert style seating.
Here's Roger, the artistic director and world class guitarist and composer;

Roger came up on stage with us and jammed on Jailhouse rock and got in a guitar duel with Joe. Then after our show, Joe got to join Roger and his trio in the center stage. We played for 40 minutes and Johnny really got the crowd going with his usual antics and had them singing along on so many songs. Brian sounded great on his upright and it's always a great thrill for audiences over here to see a double bass. Before Johhny and I sang the Sam Cooke duet Bring it on Home to me, he invited me up front to do a little overtone/throat singing for the crowd and it sounded really cool in that giant space.

We had to get up for a 5AM to catch a flight to Sandakan where we gave a workshop today and play a concert tonight. We went out to breakfast first at this cool stilted house on the bay.
The seafood breakfast was just amazing of course;)

On the way out we saw some cute newborn kittens and fruit vendor stand with the most beautiful mangos and papayas

We went to the hotel and got an hour or two to rest before we had to leave for the workshop.

We met Josie, our wonderful friend and liaison and headed to the cultural center where the workshop and concerts are being held. We had a great time interacting with the students and audience. It was a special treat for us to get to meet and play with Chew's son Raymond. Chew is our US Embassy liaison who works with Scott Roland, a great force in bringing us over here to Malaysia. We had met them and Josie when we were here in November 2010.
Johnny even got Josie to come up and conduct the band, she did a great job.

Joe and Josie talking about an important cultural matter; he didn't get a chance to bring her the maple pankake syrup that he had promised to bring her from the states, really;)

We are all so happy to see everyone again and are looking forward to the concert tonight and of course dinner after with a our friends;)

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