Sunday, 2 December 2012

Event: 9th Penang Island Jazz Festival

Despite the best efforts of the rain, from both the monsoon season and the fall-out from the typhoon currently in the Taiwan area, a very large crowd persevered to enjoy the first of the main-stage 'Jazz by the Beach' nights at the Bay View Beach Resort Hotel, Batu Ferringhi.

Starting around 6:30pm and going on until midnight it really was a superb event.  Prior to the main event I managed to catch a couple of the fringe acts who played at the Bay View Beach Hotel and Hard Rock Hotel.  First up was 'Froya', an excellent up and coming KL based band and this was followed by 'Black Lightbulb', another KL based jazz, blues and R&B band.  Both were really superb and great to see if you get chance.  I suspect we will be seeing a lot more of both.

The main event was truly excellent.  A really varied line up of artists playing a wide range of music much of which was very different to that which many folks would associate with the the jazz genre.  Highlights for me were 'Mezzotono', an Italian acapella ensemble; Madelein Bell, a powerful and talented female vocalist based in Amsterdam who was backed by the 'Hans Vroomans Trio' and the absolutely superb German based band 'Art of Fusion', a central feature of their act being the rather unique 'air-drums' pictured above.

At RM 68 per ticket this event is really good value and a full range of merchandise together with CDs from the various performers is on sale (I bought the 'Rhizomism' CD by 'Art of Fusion' - excellent - also available from iTunes) and if you missed last night's performances there is still chance to catch tonight's with a superb line up featuring 'Martin Taylor', 'Butterscotch' and 'Estudiantina Ensemble'. Ample food and drink is also on sale.

I will expand this article over the next few days with shots of each of the acts that performed but in the meantime an initial album (yet to be captioned) can be found here.  Pick of Penang will be back to the Bay View for the final night tonight.

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