Tag Archives: Michael Veerapen

Gig Updates – July/Aug 2016

ANNOUNCEMENT: GIG UPDATES

After a short hiatus from live performances for a few weeks, I’m glad to announce that late July through August is set to be a busy month for me. I’m glad to be out there performing for you again. I hope to see you at some of the shows, if not all!

Here’s a brief list of upcoming performances:

21/7 (Thu) Michael Veerapen Trio feat. Julian Chan. 9pm.
Venue: No Black Tie, KL. Check out www.noblacktie.com.my for details.
Tickets: RM40

22/7 (Fri) KK JAZZ FEST – WVC Jazz Ensemble.
Venue: Sutera Harbour Tennis Courts, Kota Kinabalu.
Check out www.kkjazzfest.com for details.

23/7 (Sat) KK JAZZ FEST – WVC & Shanghai Jazz Reprise.
Venue: Sutera Harbour Tennis Courts, Kota Kinabalu.
Check out www.kkjazzfest.com for details.

26/7 (Tue) WVC @ Forbidden City Live Band KL. 9:30pm.
Venue: Forbidden City, KL
No cover.
Check out www.forbiddencitykl.com for show details

27/7 (Wed) WVC @ Karuizawa. 9:30pm onwards.
Venue: Karuizawa Kogen, Menara TA One, KL

28/7-1/8 Taichung Saxophone Competition (judge)
Venue: Taichung, TAIWAN

1/8 (Mon) WVC @ NBT Jam Session. 9pm onwards
Venue: No Black Tie. Check out www.noblacktie.com.my for details.
Tickets: 2 drink minimum cover.

3/8 (Wed) Michael Veerapen Quartet. 9:30pm
Venue: Forbidden City KL. Check out www.forbiddencitykl.com for details.

More updates coming soon! Please do stay tuned. And many thanks for your support!

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DiverseCity 2015 – ASEAN Jazz Festival 2015

First off, please pardon my lack of updates on my website, especially in the blog section. However, I do update my Twitter and Facebook a lot more, so do please check my FB page when you can, for more recent updates.

Secondly, I’d like to talk about the festival I just performed at with my band, WVC – the ASEAN Jazz & Percussion Festival. It was one of the the festivals under the month-long DiverseCity Arts Festival 2015 (www.diversecity.my), held at one of Desa Sri Hartamas’ longest running F&B outlets, SOULed OUT. Of course, the music portion for this festival was curated by one of Malaysia’s most respected musician/pianist/composer/arranger, and the head-of-state for jazz in this country, Michael Veerapen. Naturally, as a jazz musician at heart, the ASEAN Jazz and Percussion Festival (as well as the No Black Tie and Alexis Sessions) would be his pet projects for this festival.

I remember having this conversation with Michael over teh-tarik about him wanting to put up a city-wide, month-long festival that would encompass the entire arts community in KL – dance, music, comedy, theatre, etc. Goes without saying, it would have been a MAJOR undertaking. And guess what? He did it! Despite facing a major setback in sponsorship cut, he managed to save a big part of the Festival – the Pub Festival, Alexis & No Black Tie Sessions, and of course the Jazz & Percussion Festival. I would’ve loved to see the KL Pops Symphony concert though.

Having worked with Michael for quite a while now, I am very well aware of his style of doing things. With no exception, this festival stays true to Michael’s quality of work, and I’m quite sure the other bands would testify to that too. He managed to put together a really great show together – from the artiste line-up to the technical part of the team (sound, lights, backline, etc). You want to know how easy it was for us for WVC? We went up for soundcheck, and it only took us 20 minutes to finish it! Everything was so smooth, the sound mix, EQs and monitoring were all done so well in such a short period of time.  As far as WVC was concerned, the sound mixing was good enough that we could almost make full use of our dynamic range that we have in our tunes, comfortably.

The festival itself, was a blast, for both the audience and the performers, from what I have observed. Overall, there were all the necessary elements a festival of this kind needed – food, drinks, a relaxing open air ambience, great sound, and awesome emcee in the form of Malaysian’s jazz mamma, Junji Delfino, (who also managed to sing a few tunes, standing in for Dasha Logan) and of course, a really good programming of performances. Practically every detail was taken care of, down to the screen projectors that were placed so systematically so that people at different parts of the restaurant could watch the show. The programming of the performers were also done with great thought, and each band put up one hell of a show (including us, of course!). It was a real JAZZ festival, at least in my books! Even though the acts that were invited to play all had their own strong musical identities, we all had one thing in common – JAZZ. Enough said. All the bands that played were amazing – The Steve Nanda Group (with Patrick Terbrack on sax, WeiLi Cheah on keys and Daniel Foong on bass), Singaporean group The Steve McQueens (with my buddy Fabian Lim on sax, Joshua Wan on keys, Eugenia Yip on vocals, Aaron James Lee on drums, and Jase Sng on bass), and of course Koh Mr. Saxman and the Sounds of Siam (Uhh, I won’t even bother trying to list out their band members Thai names). I had such a great time watching and listening all of them play. I’m also glad to call them my friends, as well, as I do know all of them personally.

I’ve mentioned it on FB and all that, but I’ll say it right here again: The ASEAN Jazz Festival was one of the best jazz festivals I’ve played in KL, or in Malaysia, in a very long time. I’ve played in many festivals before whether with WVC or other bands, but this tops the list of one of the best, if not the best.

Congratulations, Michael Veerapen and his team, for putting up such a wonderful and successful event, and also inviting WVC to be part of it! I personally hope this will be able to continue and grow in the following years to come.

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!!!!!)