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Penang Island Jazz Festival Celebrates 10 Years With Great Line-up


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Jazz Kamikaze
It’s celebration time for the Penang Island Jazz Festival as it celebrates its 10th anniversary from December 5-8 with an exciting line-up of local and international jazz acts. There’s a little of something for just about everyone at The Bayview Beach Resort Gardens in Batu Ferringhi – home to the PIJF since its first edition back in 2004.

The two-day main stage program by the beach gets underway on Saturday 7th with Penang’s very own songstress BIHZHU, vocal and piano duo Michael Schiefel & Carsten Daerr, South Korea’s geomungo player Yoon Jeong Heop Black String, exciting electric guitarist Okan Ersen Quartet, pianist Freddy Cole Quartet and the swinging sextet Jazz Connection.

Sunday’s program starts with the eclectic South Korean outfit Vinalog—who mix traditional Korean folk music with jazz, electronic and more besides—and continues with Norwegian avant-jazz/heavy rock Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen Trio, singer Alison Burns and legendary guitarist Martin Taylor Trio, Zimbabwe-born vocalist Eska, and topping the bill, Scandinavia’s truly electrifying Jazz Kamikaze, which features one of the most talked about saxophonists of the day in Marius Neset.

For early birds there’s a 7am start on Saturday with the [email protected] Spice Gardens. Amrita Soon, Liyana Fizi featuring Eizaz Azhar and Ray Rozells unplugged will get the day off to a jazzy, easy-going start in the beautiful surroundings of the award-winning Tropical Spice Gardens.

There’s plenty more music besides over the course of four action-packed days. The opening concert on December 5th sees Casey Abrahms take to the stage of the Grand Ballroom of the Bayview Beach Resort. Friday December 6th is the traditional “Jazz With a Heart” charity dinner, also in the Grand Ballroom of the Bayview Beach Resort, and will feature Alison Burns and Martin Taylor, Freddy Cole Quartet and Jazz Connection.

Increasingly, through its Creative Malaysia program the OPIJF has supported and promoted the best of Malaysia’s up-and-coming bands and over three days a dozen bands will perform on the fringe stages at the Bayview Beach Resort, the Hard Rock Hotel Penang and the Parkroyal Penang Resort. These fringe stage concerts are all free so please come along and support Malaysian music.

As ever, there are workshops and this year the PIJF will host photo exhibitions by world renowned jazz photographers William Ellis and Ziga Koritnik. In addition, PIOJF 2013 is proud to present a series of panel discussions under the umbrella Island Music Forums: Going Beyond; on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th some of the world’s leading jazz festival directors, promoters and agents will discuss various aspects of contemporary jazz and the issues it faces. It’s a unique opportunity to hear it straight from the horses’ mouths and to interact with some of jazz’s main movers and shakers.

So, whether you want to dip your toes into an early morning music wake-up call, check out what’s new and hot on the Malaysian music scene, learn about the current state of jazz from those who put it on and make it happen, or immerse yourself fully in four days of great music and fun, the PIJF 2013 offers something for you. Happy 10th birthday PIJF!

For full festival program and ticket information visit the festival website.

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