More than 30 jazz and soul musicians from all over the world will turn Kuala Lumpur into a jazz hub next month as they will be performing at the upcoming Kuala Lumpur International Jazz & Arts Festival.

The event is organised by KL International Jazz Festival and Asia World Events in collaboration with University Malaya. It is supported by Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur and KL Mayor YBhg. Datuk Hj. Mhd. Amin Nordin Abd. Aziz, who is also a patron of the festival.

KL International Jazz & Arts Festival 2015


The critically acclaimed festival, which was established in 2011, promises to offer whatever they have for everyone. From workshops to masterclasses to art exhibition, KLJIAF is a simply a must-go event for music lovers, lifestyle seekers, tourists, and expatriates.

There will be 19 shows spread over 4 days.

The event details are as follows:

  • Date: 10th – 13th September 2015
  • Venue: University Malaya, Jalan Pantai Baharu, 59990, Kuala Lumpur

Having hosted multiple top tier international and local artistes in the past, the organiser will also bring a slew of award-winning artistes and renowned jazz musicians from North America, Europe, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, and Malaysia for this year’s edition of the KL International Jazz & Arts Festival (KLIJAF).

The headliners are:


Eric Wyatt

Born and raised in Brookyln, New York, Eric Wyatt is one of the most popular saxophonists in the world. He was introduced to the sax by his father Charles Wyatt, who played tenor and hung out with many of the great jazz icons such as Charlie Parker, Gary Bartz, George Braith, Wilber Ware, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and many more.


He had the privilege of meeting 2 great jazz masters, both of whom changed his life: Miles Davis and his godfather, Sonny Rollins. Eric said:

When I met Miles, I was 10 years old and was playing trumpet at the time. He was playing at the Bottom Line, a club in New York, and I never forgot all the energy and joy that this man brought to the audience. Sonny was a friend to the family and stayed connected to us after my father passed.

Sonny Rollins also helped Eric record his first CD for King Records (Japan) titled “God Son” with the great Al Foster on drums, Rufus Reid on bass and pianist Mark Soskin from Sonny’s band.


Chieli Minucci & Special EFX

Guitarist/producer/composer Chieli Minucci is the leader of the Grammy-nominated contemporary jazz group “Special EFX“, which HE formed in 1982. Minucci and the group have recorded a combined 25 CD’s, 8 of those being solo releases.

In the past few years, Minucci has recorded and performed with top pop artistes such as Celine Dion, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez, Jewel, Mark Anthony, Jessica Simpson, Anasta-sia and others. He has also performed with jazz artistes like Bobby Caldwell, Chuck Loeb, Marion Meadows, and many others.


Najwa Mahiaddin

Najwa Mahjiaddin certainly needs no introduction. A multiple award winning Malaysian singer-songwriter, New York based Najwa is returning from her 3-year hiatus with a darker undertone in her music, experimenting with somber and minimalistic echoes over the usual warm piano accompaniments. An upcoming star, Najwa is one of the voices of the new generation.

The local and international acts slated to perform at the festival include Grammy nominated fiery Tizer Quartet from Los Angeles, Pianist Benito Gonzalez from New York, Americans Christy Smith (Bass), Eddie Layman, Ronny Williams (Drums), Sax players Ezra Brown, Patrick Terbrack and Hiroyuki Yagi; The Frederik Koster Quartet and Bastian Stein from Germany, Bassist Barry Likumahuwa from Jakarta , Tinho Pereira from Brazil, Chris Ong from Singapore, Hong from Bangkok, Rachel Guerzo, Jordan Rivers, Steve Nanda. Kombo DBKL (Cocombo) , Maria Angela Rebano, Colour Codes, KL Jazz Project, UiTM Jazz Ensemble, Daniel Guerzo, Don Guerzo, Dado Guerzo, John Boy, Badar, Isabella Soliano, Tristano Soliano, Rizal Soliano, Coni Soliano, Irene Soliano. Nasran Nawi, Farid Izwan, Lokman Aslam, Bihzhu, and Dato’ Julie Sudiro.

Art Exhibition

As KLIJAF aims to fuse arts and music, an art exhibition will be held to create a totally different experience as compared to other music festivals and concerts in the city. It will be a festival where music surrounds art and art surrounds music.

A group of artists including Hashim Hassan, Kalsom Muda and Jamil Md. Isa will exhibit works of “Art inspired by nature”, which is nature in combination with color, line, form and texture that gives the artists’ great pleasure and inner peace. It is a unification of personal expressions towards our surrounding where serenity and harmony suggest dreamlike surreal quality and notions of calmness that invite the viewers to move into the interplay desires of imagination, splendor and delight.

Other artists whose paintings will be exhibited are Stephen Menon, Ismadi sallehudin, Liu Cheng Hua, Syed Thajudden, Jeganathan, Zulkefli Talha, and Marvin Chan. There is also sale of affordable art by young talents.

“Alfonso 25” – A Jazz Tribute to the Music of Alfonso Soliano

Led by Rachel Guerzo on piano and vocals, a photography exhibition and a special tribute show featuring The Guerzos will be held on 10th September 2015 to honour the music and the work of her grandfather Alfonso Soliano. A stellar line up of musicians will also be featured, including John Boy, Badar, Isabella Soliano, Tristano Soliano Rizal Soliano, Coni Soliano, Irene Soliano, Nasran Nawi, Farid Izwan, Lokman Aslam, Bihzhu and Dato’ Julie Sudiro

Tickets are currently available at Ticket Pro’s official website. You may also contact them through hotline: 03-7880 7999. The full programme lineup can be viewed here.

For more information about KLIJAF, visit the event’s official website and Facebook page.

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