The 2nd Malaysian Jazz Piano Festival… my personal thoughts!

I am truly and unequivocally inspired and humbled from last night.

The final night of the 2nd Malaysian Jazz Piano Festival at KLPac was truly an amazing night of music IN MALAYSIA I’ve had in a while, I must admit. And I’m doubly/triply more proud and happy that the people who have given me a huge dose of inspiration and humble pie are my personal friends (who are also my colleagues/mentors).

To see all of them perform and play in their trio settings, and every single one of them playing to their best (mistakes and all) and just simply KICKIN’ ASS, was something that I really miss having to see. EVERYONE had something interesting and unique to offer, there was no competition, no cutting contests, no politics, just a lot of inspiring music and soul from different personalities…and a real fellowship, in every sense of the word.

To see some of the younger cats who are putting their hearts and souls out to be part of this amazing event, was also no less inspiring. I may be OLDER now, but I still feel the same fire and passion that they have, like when I was still a young fat saxophonist trying to make it into the scene. Now I’m just older but still fat, saxophonist. I am inspired by every one of them to be a better musician, a teacher, and a person.

I must say, in all honesty and without hesitation, that this Festival is TRULY, *THE BIGGEST* highlight of the Malaysian jazz scene. PERIOD. It’s not just a one-off event just to sell tickets and just about having a party and having fun. It’s the making of a real and growing jazz scene in our country, and integrating it as part of our culture. It is a an important piece of history in our Malaysian Music scene.

A BIG shoutout to Michael Veerapen and all the amazing team of pianists that performed, conducted workshops, and contributed to make it an amazingly inspiring and successful event – David Gomes, Ee Jeng Hin, Cheah Wei Li, Wee Lern Ch’ng, Justin Lim Fang Yee, John Dip Silas, Toro Cheng Pin Xuan, Tay Cher Siang (who was there in spirit, although physically in India), and the rhythm section Daniel Foong, Steve Nanda, Charles Wong, John Ashley Thomas, Terrence Ling and Wan Azfarezal. Kudos to ALL you guys!!

Congratulations to Melvin Goh for being the FIRST person to make Malaysian jazz piano history for being a deserving winner of the FIRST ever jazz piano competition in our country. A big shoutout to the rest of the participants whom I know, kicked ass, in one way or the other – Jack Lim Hui Jie, Leroy Lee, Vester Liew, Shaun Chow, and others.

If you have missed any of the shows, you have truly missed out on A LOT. I am really looking forward to seeing next year’s Festival.

(PS: Now, I really LOVE/HATE you guys even more.. I really wish I could play piano like that!!! LOL!!!!!)

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