Miri Trip 2014: My Encounter with the Borneo Jazz Festival 2014 (Day 1)


I usually have no idea what to do when it comes to writing a post about a concert. My go-to strategy would be to throw tons of pictures and hope nobody notices that I'm slacking off. Not for this concert coverage post though. This was one of the most amazing concert festivals that I have ever attended (due to the fact that I don't usually attend concert festivals), and it probably won't be my last either.

A huge, huge thank you to the awesome people at the Sarawak Tourism Board and AirAsia for giving me this opportunity to attend such an awesome concert festival. I love you guys. 

If you still don't know which concert festival I attended, it was the Borneo Jazz Festival. This year marks the 9th edition of the popular Jazz Festival, with 8 bands of awesomeness taking to the stage and absolutely jazzing it up with the jazziest tunes and styles. It was a rip-roaring 2 nights of amazing fun and music that left me wanting more and more. The more I write about it now, the more I wish I was back at the ParkCity Everly Resort in Miri, swaying and dancing to the music.

And it all started with marching bands. There's no denying that the two representative bands kicking off both nights respectively were at the top of their brass (sorry). Chung Hwa Miri Brass Band and Riam Road Secondary School Bruins' Marching Band had members as young as...well, secondary school age performing on an international stage like the Borneo Jazz Festival. Meanwhile, there I was, standing to the side and watching them with envy while my feet tapped to the beat. 

Diana Liu took to the stage to deliver a soothing start to the first night.

The Sarawakian-born songstress serenaded the budding crowd with original compositions like Someone Like You, Fly and 我可以 (I Can) and wow, let me tell you, her voice is just something. Plus she was so pretty that I almost couldn't take my eyes off her. True story. You can check out Diana's Youtube channel for her songs, because I was so totally serenaded that I forgot to even take videos.

 That was me and me. 

Next up was Mario Canonge from Martinique.

Nicknamed Flying Fingers because that was precisely what he did on the piano, his performance at the Borneo Jazz Festival was mellowed as compared to what was to come, but then he started to bring the crowd to their feet by playing leading us in a chant (which I cannot for the life of me replicate). Still, his piano playing skills were impressively amazing and he really lived up to his Flying Fingers nickname.

The next performers absolutely ramped up the tempo of the night. Local band JunkOFunc (pronounced as such) took to the stage and almost tore it to pieces with their high adrenaline songs and stage presence.

The chemistry between lead singers Elvira Arul and Russel Curtis was so good that they had the crowd eating out of their hands. It helped that their voices had the perfect mix of funk and soul to bring out the dancer hidden deep inside all of us. Somewhere.

And at the end of it all, JunkOFunc answered the one question on Russel's shirt "Got Funk?", with a resounding and explosive yes.

You said it, Auntie (more on her in the next post). 

The final performers of the night were Cuban group, Vocal Sampling. See, their name explains their music style; they literally give you a sample of all their vocals, by providing all the instruments with only their voices. It's acapella like you've never heard it before.

Vocal Sampling was one of my favorite performances throughout the festival. That thing they did with only their voices just blew me away completely. One of the most unforgettable moments was when they did the guitar solo of Hotel California EXACTLY like in the song, with the exception of using NO FREAKING GUITAR.

There is literally nothing I can say that would sufficiently describe how amazing Vocal Sampling's performance was. So here's a vocal sampling (see what I did there?) of a few snippets I managed to get during their performance.

 Yes. Yes you are. 

My last stop for the night (after supper because who knew concerts could give you a ravenous appetite?) was at DJ Roundhead's clubbing floor, where we basically danced the first night of the Borneo Jazz Festival away.

And so ended day 1 of the Borneo Jazz Festival. It was a night of insanity, craziness and a lot of good, good music. Come back tomorrow to read the epic conclusion of the Borneo Jazz Festival 2014. Believe me, it's only going to get more amazing from here on now.

Again, I would like to give a huge, huge sloppy kiss to the amazingly amazing people at the Sarawak Tourism Board and AirAsia for flying me in to attend such an awesome concert festival.

Read all about Day 2 here: http://lifeofbudak.blogspot.com/2016/09/miri-trip-2014-my-encounter-with-borneo-jazz-festival-2014-day-2.html


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