Thursday, October 14, 2004
Jairus Anthony Music Fest - 13 Oct 2004
For those who didn't know Jairus Anthony, he's most prominently known in KL as the James Taylor of Malaysia. He did the club circuit for quite a while, and he made his name in KL singing James Taylor tunes, with a bit of Jairus edge! He was one of those musicians who believe in real expression in music, and not making music out of monetary interests. He passed away a couple of weeks ago, he was suffering from some rare case of pancreatic cancer. He was supposed to undergo some specific treatment for his type of cancer in the Philippines. Unfortunately he didn't live long enough to go for it. I can't say I personally knew him, I have heard of him, and until we all found out about his cancer diagnosis, I have never met him. I did a show with Greg's band at Actor's Studio as a fund-raising effort for this treatment in the Philippines, and that's when I met him. It was also the first time I've heard him sing, and even though he was not in top form, his singing and his sense of expression touched me. His singing exudes honesty in every inch of his body, and that is the ultimate goal for any musician or artiste!
Anyway, I played in Greg's band, The Biophonics last night at the Backyard Pub, Sri Hartamas, as part of the Jairus Anthony Annual Music Festival. The idea for the musicfest was conceived by Jerry Chong, owner of Backyard Pub & Grill, to keep alive the memory of Jairus and everything he stood for. Although Jairus parlayed his talents for over 20 years in the local pub circuit, he never received the recognition and industry accolades he deserved. It was only after his illness was diagnosed that a charity album entitled "Jairus & Friends" featuring his talent was finally recorded live at the Backyard pub through the kindness of fellow musicians, fans and friends. The musicfest is aimed as a platform for the most talented local musicians to show off their abilities at a single venue every year and attract recording companies. Part of the proceeds from the festival will go towards developing and encouraging young and up-and-coming musicians.
Besides us, the performers for the night included Az Samad, Shelley Leong, and Soft Touch (Peter Hassan Brown and Markiza). It was quite a packed night, and everyone definitely had a good time playing, as well as listening to the band. The music fest takes place every Wednesday beginning Oct 6, and ends on 17 Nov, which happened to be Jairus' birthday.
So, if you're free do go and check it out. Wednesdays at the Backyard Pub.