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Friday, 11 April 2014

Introducing Borneo Jazz Festival 2014 performers | Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia

This is what you will expect at one of Malaysia's most enduring jazz festival, the Borneo Jazz Festival now entering its ninth (9th) year. The festival will be held in Miri from the 9-10 May.

Here is the line-up for 2014:

Pianist and singer, Anthony  Strong was hailed as “England’s New Jazz Superstar” as his EP release reached No. 1 on the UK jazz charts in 2012.
In 2013, Anthony Strong beat Gregory Porter, Michael Buble and Harry Connick Jr. to become October’s No. 1 on iTunes and No.2 on the  jazz charts in the USA.
Rod Steward described him as amazing.  BB King called it “real great music”.
This is a once in a lifetime performance to watch.

BRASSBALLETT (Germany)An 11 member band from Hamburg that combines  brass playing with funky dance moves. They are both aurally and visually stunning!
This was the brain child of band leader Wassilij Goron who founded the band in 2011. They play jazz and funk based on pop, latin and classical themes while they dance hip hop, street style and salsa.
Their show is the ultimate festival experience.

DIANA LIU (Sarawak)
Sarawak’s own jazz singer songwriter Diana Liu has established herself in the music circuit of Beijing, China, while still performing often in homeland Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and other Asian cities.

She sings in Mandarin and English, works with jazz giants such as Lewis Pragasam and Idang Rasjidi.

She comes to Borneo Jazz with an international ensemble of  jazz musicians – Lewis Pragasam of Malaysia, Christy Smith of USA, Tan Wee Siang of Singapore, Greg Lyons of Britain.

Sweet and sultry vocals with an edge.

IRIAO (Georgia)
They fuse the famous Georgian jodling singing style of Krimanchuli with western harmonies.

The songs they sing come from authentic folk and polyphonic music and they infuse it with jazz and improvisatory elements.

Unusual, unique and extremely classy.

JUNKOFUNC (Malaysia)
Highly energetic rhythms with a touch of soul and lashings of funk. 
This band from Kuala Lumpur was first formed for the Genting International Jazz Festival in 2008 and has gone from strength to strength, growing in number as well as repertoire.
Punchy brass, powerful vocals and a pounding rhythm section.

MARIO CANONGE (Martinique)
The pianist with the flying fingers and the fiery energy of a tightly coiled spring – Mario is in great demand from big names such as Lavelle, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Nicole Croisille, Ralph Thamar, Carter Jefferson.

He mixes into his performance, influences from his roots from Martinique as well as zouk, the beguine, the mazurka. He has created and performs in and with many different ensembles.

This is Caribbean jazz at its best.

An all male a capella group that floors their audiences by the sounds and tonal techniques they can produce. Six voices can sound like an instrumental ensemble.

They mix latin salsa, Cuban son and with their amazing vocal abilities, with a repertoire of songs taken from various sources. Their 2002 album “Cambio de Tiempo” was nominated for 3 Latin Grammy Award. 

A stunning mind blowing show

YK BAND (Indonesia)
A quartet from Samarinda whose music is a unique blend of Indonesian Borneo tunes built into western jazz techniques and improvisation.

South East Asian ethno jazz with a twist.

There is a pre-sale ticket offer now till 8th of May 2014. Click here for more ticket purchase details.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Borneo Jazz 2014 | Early Bird Tickets Offer | Sarawak

The early bird offer will expire 31st March 2014. In addition to the online ticket vendor, there are ticket outlets which may be nearby your location.The offer ranges from RM15 (1-day child) to RM55 (2-day Adult).

If you are living in Brunei Darussalam, the ticket outlets are MegaBorneo Tour Planner, Pan Bright Travel Service and Century Travel Center Sdn. Bhd.

For those living in Bekasi and Bali, Indonesia, the outlets are Destination Sabah Sarawak Indonesia representative office and Pan Bright Travel Service respectively.

Pan Bright Travel Service, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah is the appointed festival ticket outlet.

Sarawakians can check out their nearest outlets here.

About Borneo Jazz Festival
The 2014 will be the ninth (9th) edition and it is held in Miri, Sarawak.  This year, the performers are JunkOFunc (Malaysia), Vocal Sampling (Cuba), Brassballett (Germany), Mario Canonge (Martinique), Iriao (Georgia),  YK Samarinda (Indonesia) and Diana Liu (Malaysia).

Sarawak Malaysia Borneo... where adventure lives

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Sarawak Specials at MATTA Fair 2014 | Kayo- Kayo Packages

The interesting packages ranges from Sarawak Malay Heritage to Sibu Melanau Heritage tour. For the cyclists, there are the Heritage and Culture Ride and the Classic City Ride package. 

Sarawak is about adventure. Immerse in the unique Lost World Adventure experience in the Padawan Highlands or combine scuba diving with caving adventure. One package is called Oil Town Underwater World and Caving Adventure with Homestay Experience whilst another is simply called Caves, Caves and More Caves.You can purchase these and more at the Sarawak Tourism Booth from our nine (9) consortium partners. 

They are:

  1. Borneo Exploration Tours and Travel Sdn Bhd, 
  2. Brighton Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd, 
  3. Ecogreen Holidays Sdn Bhd, 
  4. Gotravel Holiday Sdn Bhd, 
  5. Greatown Travel Sdn Bhd, 
  6. Ibanika Tours & Travel Sdn Bhd, 
  7. Kuching Holidays & Car Rental Sdn Bhd, 
  8. Planet Borneo Tours & Travel Services Sdn Bhd and 
  9. Journey Travel Agencies Sdn Bhd
To extend the value of your purchase, you will stand a chance to win tickets to Rainforest World Music Festival, Borneo Jazz or Asia Music Festival. Naturally, this offer is only given during the fair.

Here are some samples of the Kayo-Kayo Sarawak packages.

MATTA Fair March 2014 | Kayo-Kayo Sarawak Packages

MATTA Fair March 2014 | Kayo-Kayo Sarawak Packages Cycling Tour

MATTA Fair March 2014 | Kayo-Kayo Sarawak Packages for Kuching and Miri

MATTA Fair March 2014 | Kayo-Kayo Sarawak Packages for Sibu

2014 is Visit Malaysia Year campaign. Incidentally it is also Visit Sarawak Year, proclaimed to celebrate the state's 50th Anniversary of Independence with Malaysia. 'Kayo Kayo'  means 'wandering' in the Malay language. Sarawak wants to welcome you. But first wander over to see us at MATTA Fair March 2014, Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Booth No. 3014 - 3018 from the 14th to 16th March 10am - 9pm

Friday, 14 February 2014

Stand Up Paddle Surfing, Pesta Benak 2013 | Visit Malaysia 2014

These are three excellent videos of stand up paddle surfing (SUP) of the tidal bore known locally as 'benak'. The surfing took place along the Batang Lupar river, Sri Aman in the Malaysian state of Sarawak.

Produced by CéGar, the scenes were shot during the 2013 Pesta (festival) Benak that took place from October 18th-20th. CéGar also captured amazing aerial shots of the tidal bores from his paramotor. We believe this is a first! 

We have sequenced the videos firstly, on how the tidal bore looked like from the sky, followed by the SUP surfers in action and waxing lyrical about their experiences and then finally zeroing in on international SUP surfer, Kyron Rahthbone as he described about the noise of his experience. And Kyron had set a 'Benak' record with a 28-minutes ride on 'Cadbury Rights' - a playful reference to the colour of the water - chocolatey brown. We offer our congratulations!

Enjoy the videos!

Tidal bore occurs twice daily, the height of the waves depend on the tide conditions. It is also known that the drier season of the year (April - Oct) tend to generate bigger waves. There is a view point for visitors to watch the spectacle of the surging waves as they travel up this second longest river in Sarawak.

Besides the surfing spectacle, the festival has plenty of side-events such as speedboat and longboat race, exhibitions, stage shows and of course food! The festival attracts thousands each year and so it is advisable to book your rooms early. It is recommended to stay overnight as the tidal bore occurs early morning and late afternoon.

The town of Sri Aman is a two and a half hour drive from the Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak. To get there, catch a bus from Kuching Sentral 

Malaysian Airlines, Air Asia and Malindo Air flies daily to Kuching from Kuala Lumpur. Air Asia and Silkair (also code share with Malaysian Airlines) flies daily from Singapore. Do check their website for latest.

Please click here for the 2014 edition 

Sarawak Malaysia Borneo... where adventure lives

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Popular local food outlets in downtown Kuching | Padungan Road

You will read about the 'famous' Kuching street foods as well as modern ones, all within walking distance of the inner city where most visitors would be staying.

Thanis Lim, a well-known food blogger from Brunei has produced this comprehensive guide, useful for even locals who are fresh out of ideas of where to eat. And he has even inserted a location map for each outlet. Howzat for the flash-packer in you!? Very friendly!

Sarawak Malaysia Borneo Local food sarawak laksa
The iconic Sarawak Laksa

Sarawak mee kolok served with slivers of beef
The iconic Sarawak 'kolok mee' - available halal and non-halal version

Sarawak Malaysia Borneo... where adventures lives