Bringing diverse cultural backgrounds together to celebrate jazz music in a hybrid format
One of Southeast Asia’s longest running international jazz festivals – Borneo Jazz festival (BJ) – is back once again, bringing musicians of diverse cultural backgrounds together to celebrate jazz music and empower the local community.
Themed “Jazz in The Jungle”, the Borneo Jazz festival will be held from 24 to 26 June 2022 in a hybrid format to reach out to the greater jazz-loving community worldwide. The physical concert will take place at Coco Cabana, Miri while viewers will also be able to livestream one-hour blocks of their performances from home.
With musical content curated by No Black Tie Presents, Malaysia’s foremost jazz promoter, music lovers can expect a spectacular mix of jazz and hip-hop, tribal vibes, world beats and electro-jazz grooves during the 17th edition of the Borneo Jazz festival.
Watch out for an eclectic mix of jazz musicians, rappers and DJs from USA, Hungary, Singapore, France, Malaysia and more lighting up the Borneo Jazz stage to celebrate cultural diversity, tradition and innovation.
Sarawak Arts Council’s band Sarawak Symphony Orchestra (SONS) will also be taking to the Borneo Jazz stage for the first time in a continued collaboration with Sarawak Tourism Board, with the aim to lift Sarawak’s local music scene.
The announcement on the highly anticipated annual event was made today by Yang Berhormat Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, the Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts along with Yang Berhormat Datuk Sebastian Ting Chew Yew, Deputy Minister of Tourism Sarawak, Yang Berhormat Mr. Dennis Ngau, Chairman of Sarawak Tourism Board, Mr. Hii Chang Kee, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak, Puan Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor, Chief Executive Officer of Sarawak Tourism Board, Captain Nasaruddin A Bakar, Chief Operating Officer of MASwings representing Malaysia Aviation Group and Stephanie Kuan representing artistic director No Black Tie Presents.
During his speech, Yang Berhormat Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, the Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts said, “With the theme “Jazz in the Jungle”, this year’s Borneo Jazz is about rejuvenating the jazz scene while being surrounded by the wonders of nature that are in abundance in Miri, the gateway to Northern Sarawak. As we all know, artistes and musicians have all been affected by the lockdowns, so Borneo Jazz festival serves as the perfect platform to rejuvenate, rediscover, rekindle and rebuild the jazz connection that was interrupted for the past two years.”
“The hybrid concert is the best way to go this year based on the positive response we have received from the Borneo Jazz Virtual Experience last year in 2021. For the record, the Borneo Jazz Virtual Experience 2021 three-day journey garnered 244,637 online viewers from 43 countries. This year, we hope to have a wider outreach to international audiences encompassing more countries.”
Chief Executive Officer of Sarawak Tourism Board, Puan Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor said, “We are pleased to once again bring music lovers in Malaysia and around the world physically back to Borneo Jazz festival in Miri, the northern gateway of Sarawak”
“Last year, the music festival reached a broader audience given the virtual format, and we hope to continue this traction once again this year. Our goal is to provide our Sarawakian artists with an even bigger platform for their artistry to be recognised around the world.”
Chief Operating Officer of MASwings, Captain Nasaruddin A Bakar said, “We are delighted to support and celebrate the world’s culture through music by transporting travellers from all over the globe to Borneo Jazz festival this year. Travellers will be able to experience Malaysia’s proud history of its warm hospitality the moment they step onboard through our service and offerings that embody Malaysia’s incredible facility, capturing its rich traditions, culture and cuisines throughout their journey with us.”
The announcement was followed by the unveiling of Sarawak Tourism’s ‘More to Discover’ livery on three (3) MASwings ATR 72-500 aircraft as part of the one-year collaboration with the Sarawak Tourism Board. The interior of the aircraft is also painted with visuals of Sarawak’s tourist attractions such as events, food and culture and ecotourism destinations.
Captain Nasa who expressed his pleasure for MASwings to be the airline bearing the special livery added, “We are pleased to work together with Sarawak Tourism on the campaign which is expected to provide great visibility to promote Sarawak to the domestic market. Being the Pulse of Borneo, MASwings serves a specialised market, meeting tourists’ travel needs in terms of connectivity and affordable transportation. With the launch of Sarawak Tourism’s ‘More to Discover’ campaign on our turboprops, we trust that it will certainly help fulfil the government’s agenda to stimulate growth in tourist visits through tourism.”
Building up a sustainable musical tourism in Sarawak
“Our focus apart from positioning Borneo Jazz as a top-notch Jazz Festival in the region, is to empower and raise cultural awareness through Borneo Jazz Talent Search and Borneo Jazz FAB LAB platform, providing performance and networking opportunities, giving awards and recognition, as we strongly believe in promoting sustainability in the growth of arts & culture within the local community, and the importance of cultural exchange in fostering greater understanding between people of different cultural backgrounds which aligns with the STB’s and the state’s sustainable journey,” said Evelyn Hii, Artistic Director of Borneo Jazz festival 2022.
Borneo Jazz will feature performances by the winners of the nationwide Borneo Jazz Talent Search launched on April 1 for DJ, Jazz and Open categories. Together with Borneo Jazz Festival FAB Lab 2022, aspiring musicians will be given the chance to grow their musical talent alongside renowned local and international artistes while also contributing to the growth of Miri as the region’s jazz centre.
Additional activities around the Borneo Jazz festival will be the Eco Drum and Eco Art projects, both aimed to raise awareness towards creating a more eco-friendly and sustainable city.
Bundled deals and significant savings with Malaysia Airlines
To drive visitors and inbound traffic to Sarawak, Malaysia Airlines, the national carrier under Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), has been named the official airline partner of the Borneo Jazz Music Festival.
As the official airline partner for Borneo Jazz festival, Malaysia Airlines and supported by its sister company Firefly will offer attractive deals of up to 15% discount on flights from Peninsular Malaysia, London, Australia and some ASEAN destinations to cities in Sarawak. Firefly will fly passengers from Penang to Kuching via its jet operations.
To enjoy the discount, music lovers joining the Borneo Jazz festival must insert a unique promo code (BORNEO22) between 25 April 2022 and 15 May 2022 for travels between 1 and 30 June 2022 to enjoy significant savings. These deals are available exclusively for those who purchase the normal pass to Borneo Jazz festival through the airline’s respective websites.
Borneo Jazz ticket prices
Jazz music lovers can start purchasing tickets for BJ starting 22nd April 2022 from the website jazzborneo.com. For the public category, 1 Day Pass is priced at RM128 per ticket, 2 Day Pass is RM228 per ticket and 3 Day Pass is RM338 per ticket
As for students and senior citizens, 1 Day Pass is priced at RM88 per ticket ,2 Day Pass is RM128 per ticket and 3 Day Pass is RM188 per ticket.
For those who want to enjoy BJ virtually, tickets are priced at RM25 per one-hour block. For more information on Borneo Jazz festival 2022, log on to BJ’s official website at jazzborneo.com.
Karim also unveiled the “Sarawak More to Discover” display on MASwings’ luggage compartment for the ATR 72-500 aircraft. Sarawak’s visibility, which can be seen in three aircrafts, showcases elements of the five pillars of Sarawak tourism – Culture, Nature, Adventure Food and Festival (CANFF).
A kaleidoscope of culture, adventure, nature, food and festivals: is the best description for Sarawak. Sarawak comprises 28 ethnic tribes with their own unique traditions, lifestyles, music and food, while sharing their warm hospitality. Malaysia’s largest state, Sarawak, endowed with some of the oldest rainforests on Earth. Its vast landscape spans over 120,000 sq kms, with towering mountains and cool highlands, jagged limestone formations and mysterious cave systems, winding rivers and quiet beaches; where adventures are waiting to happen. Festivals are hosted throughout the year celebrate the eclectic blend of modern and traditional culture, food, music and religious practices that can be found nowhere else. In Sarawak, there is always ‘More to Discover’.
About Sarawak Tourism Board
Sarawak Tourism Board is the key promoter for Sarawak. STB is a winner of the Asia Pacific Excellence Awards 2016 by Asia-Pacific Association of Communications Directors (APACD) and has received the ASEAN PR Excellence Award 2015 Gold Award. The Rainforest World Music Festival is a five-time Top 25 Best International Festivals recognised by Songlines World Music Magazine (2011 – 2015). Meanwhile, the Rainforest World Music Festival and Borneo Jazz Festival Virtual Experiences were recognised by World Responsible Tourism Awards 2021 as ‘Ones to Watch’ under Destinations Building Back Better Post-Covid. Sarawak Tourism Board also won the Golden City Gate 2019 five-star award and Marketing Excellence Awards 2021 for Excellence in Mobile Marketing (bronze).