Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Gig updates..

Got some gig updates again. Check out the "Upcoming Performances" section on the right sidebar.

I'll be performing with Farid Ali, an awesome guitarist from Singapore but have been in Malaysia for quite some time, at Alexis Bistro, Ampang next week on the 21 and 22 of January 2005. It'll be a quartet gig, with Farid on guitar and gambus, Md. Noor on drums/percussion, David "Ah Wah" Yee on bass, and myself on saxophones and flute.

Just a little info on Farid:

Farid Ali is no doubt one of the finest jazz guitarist in the region. An 'old soul', at a tender age of 5, Farid was already singing Frank Sinatra's ‘Strangers in the night’ in a Singapore radio show. Whilst his peers grew up listening to Hendrix and Deep Purple, Farid was listening to the likes of Sinatra, Nat King Cole, the Carpenters, Perry Como etc. He first laid his fingers on a guitar at the age of eleven and began performing soon after in school talent contests and at small parties. Farid's parents had hoped that their youngest son with an inquisitive mind to be a lawyer. However, Farid's destiny changed at age 16, the moment he was introduced George Benson's "Weekend in LA" album. Shortly after, he began listening to Jose Feliciano, which led Farid to turn his attention on his guitar. Farid's greatest influences include Chet Atkins, Earl Klugh, Toninho Horta, Joe Pass, Pat Matheny and of course, Benson, amongst other guitar greats.

These days Farid listens to anybody and everybody especially to World music and music of his origin. The last few years saw Farid embark on playing the Lute or known famously “Gambus” in Malaysia. Farid is constantly doing research and developing a concept of the Jazz Gambus. In February 2004 Farid performed with Bobby McFerrin at the Singapore Esplanade, That performance had boosted his confidence with the instrument and had sparked his decision to record his very first solo CD featuring his Gambus.

Farid left for the US at the age of 19 to attend music academic training at the Guitar Institute of Technology, California. With a Diploma in Performance in hand, he made his way to and gained a music degree at the Berklee College of Music, Boston, USA. With his penchant for learning, Farid continued his ‘education’ during the next nine years, performing around Boston and in the music, arts and jazz festivals around the US. The catalyst to his career took place in 1988, when he won the best arranger award at the Curacao international song festival. Invitations to perform at festivals around Europe and the USA continued thereafter. Farid has added to his accolades a few prestigious awards, such as, the Distant Accord Award at the Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles, conferred by the World Festival Organization. In 1992, he was awarded the World Peace Movement Award in LA.

For the past decade and the half, Farid has performed and recorded with many known names in the business internationally and regionally. They are: Grammy award saxophonist Ernie Watts, Eric Marienthal, Bobby McFerrin, Steve Thornton, Lee Jeung Sik of Korea, guitarist Randy Branson, AsianSpirits, Face First, Elfa singers of Indonesia, Jeremy Monteiro…the list goes on. To date, Farid has performed in over forty international festivals world wide - The Boston Globe, Montreal Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz Festival, Curacao International Song Festival, Schveningen International Song Festival, Los Angeles Art Festival, Miami art festival, Tour of Canada jazz concerts. Farid's presence is beginning to be felt in regional and local festivals such as the Bangkok Jazz Festival, Jakarta Jazz Festival, Kuching Jazz Festival, Malaysia International Jazz Festival and countless other small festivals regionally and locally. Farid currently continues to receive invitations to perform in festivals regionally and internationally.

Hope to see y'all there!

Some other notes:

The deal for the regular gig at a club in town didn't work out. It was supposed to be a sax + DJ + percussion kind of gig. The owner of the club probably wasn't keen on the terms and conditions of which I will work in the place. Oh well, that's just too bad.

On the other hand, another deal has been underway as well. This one's a little more interesting, where I'll be playing with a (fantastic!) jazz pianist and vocalist in one of the big star hotels in town. Cross your fingers and pray that I can get this one, at least.


I just went to Putrajaya at the Botany Garden Park this morning with a friend to run. We went to reconnaisance the place as well as go for a run. But the place turns out way short of expectation (for me at least). I don't look forward to going there again in the near future. I haven't seen the other Parks yet, like the Taman Putra Perdana. That place seems pretty hilly, will check it out next time. At the end, I probably only ran for 10 minutes. It got pretty sunny and hot as well. I'll probably hit KLCC park to run later.

KLCC regulars.. see you later!

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