KUCHING: A Sophisticated mix of three continents sextet, a ‘rising star’ of Classical and Jazz from Indonesia, fusion jazz, funky and pop jazz music from Thailand, a capella from Germany, jazz from France, Dutch jazz, Singaporean mixture of western and eastern influence, up and coming Malaysian jazz performers – these are among the stunning line-up of artists heading to Miri, Sarawak for Borneo Jazz 2012. Miri city will once again resonate with the sounds of Jazz from every corner of the globe this May.

Borneo Jazz 2012 takes place in Miri from May 11-12. With artists hailing from almost every continent – Europe, (Netherlands, Germany, France) South Africa, America (United States) and Asia ( Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia) – Borneo Jazz 2012 is truly an international event.

Opening the festival will be Schalk Joubert’s and the Three Continents Sextet from South Africa. The seven band members are a very sophisticated mix of western and South African jazz and the musicians come from the three huge jazz hubs which is South Africa, Scandinavia and the USA. They will perform at the Borneo Jazz Opening Night on Thursday, May 10, 2012. This function is opened to the public and dinner is included in the price of tickets.

Schalk Joubert’s ensemble is made up of new generation jazz musicians. They are all schooled musicians from the younger modern jazz scene where technical ability and inspiration are both necessities. One might say all of them are stars in their own right. For the Borneo Jazz festival they will present 7 musicians on stage. Members comprise Schalk Joubert, on electric bass and vocals – Cape Town born, award winning producer, arranger and performer, Karin Hammar, on trombone – Stockholm based graduate of the Royal Conservatory, Rich Armstrong , lead vocalist on guitar, percussion and trumpet, Kevin Gibson, on drums, Shannon Mowday, alto sax and clarinet, Melissa van der Spy, grand piano and Hildegunn Oiseth , trumpet.

Also heading to Borneo Jazz 2012 is Nita Aartsen, who has been described as the ‘rising star’ of Classical and Jazz in Indonesia. Nita is a pianist and a singer. She has also performed at the Java jazz Festival in Indonesia. She will be performing on Friday, the 11 May.

Sharing the stage on the first night will be Slixs. An acapella five man, one woman group from Germany who can creates a variety of sounds and noises and effortlessly imitate a whole band. Their sense of humour, finesse in presentation and artful compositions all add up to highly entertaining performances. They won the CARA-Award Best Jazz Song in 2008 and the Ward-Swingle-Award in 2006.

Holland’s hipper than hip New Cool Collective will also perform on the first night and are led by legendary Dutch saxophonist and composer Benjamin Herman. Formed in 1994 from a loose collective of some of Holland’s finest jazz players, their music is a fresh and visceral mix of highly danceable soul and jazz, spiced with Latin flavors. Their trademark power stems from their fiercely grooving rhythm section, complemented by Herman’s innovative arrangements which fuse big-band horn charts with live DJ-inspired beats.

New Cool Collective will be joined by young, fresh and funky, F.V.E. Project. This five-piece band is based in Kuala Lumpur with guitarist Dean Sim as the local ‘Miri-Boy-Comes-Home’ in their debut at the 2012 Borneo Jazz Festival. He performs with pianist Timothy Toh, Feri Lau on bass and Omar Ibrahim on drum machine.

Opening the second night at the festival will be Tropic Green, based in Singapore but made up of musicians from around the world. Though mostly from Singapore, some hail from the UK, USA and Japan. The band members have known each other for many years both as friends and as fellow professional musicians. The band has received excellent reviews wherever they have performed, both for their musicianship and also for the original material that they play. In 2011, Tropic Green was awarded a Singapore International Foundation grant to participate at the Samui International Jazz Festival in Thailand.

They will be joined by singer, songwriter Tangora who comes from a French (pic) – Italian background and is heavily immersed in the sounds of the Caribbean and afro-Latin jazz. Her songs, sung in Creole, English, Latin, French, are delivered in her wonderfully sultry and sensual voice. And she is backed by an enviable Who’s Who rhythm section of Eric Vincenot, Tony Rabeson and Jonathan Jurion.

Koh Mr Saxman & Takeshi Band from Thailand will also make their debut on the second night. Mr Sekpol Unsamran, more famously and affectionately known as Mr Saxman, has been winning awards for the last two decades. He started his career when he was 16, and has since performed in over 10 different countries and recorded 5 solo albums. He also performed in hundreds of records, films, television shows and commercial jingles. On-stage, he is a firebrand and a compelling musician.

An adult daily pass to Borneo Jazz 2012 is now available online at a special promotional price of RM30 only from now until March 31, and only available via phone and internet purchasing. This special price is not applicable at any other outlet. To avoid disappointment please log on to www.jazzborneo.com to purchase your tickets online now!

For more details, kindly email at info@jazzborneo.com or call the Miri Visitors’ Information Centre at +6 085-434180 / 81 or log on to www.jazzborneo.com.