Above: The members of Shakatak.
Add jazz to the long list of things that make the Malaysian island of Penang so interesting. Launched in 2004, the Penang Island Jazz Festival is held annually on the first weekend of December. This year’s fest counts among its headliners the legendary jazz/funk juggernaut Shakatak. Also watch for regional jazz artists like Malaysia’s own Liyana Fizi, who sprinkles folk and bossanova into her music.
The main “Jazz by the Beach” stage, in the garden of Bayview Beach Resort along Batu Ferringhi beach, will showcase Shakatak, Yuri Honing Wired Paradise, and Ulf & Eric Wakenius, among others. Hotels around the island, including the G Hotel and the Hard Rock Hotel Penang, serve as other venues for the fest.
Also included are drum circles, jazz poetry, discussion forums, and workshops and presentations, including an informal session of song and dialog with members of the Shakatak on December 4. An exhibit will showcase the work of Ziga Koritnik, a photographer from Ljubljana-Slovenia known for his portraits of jazz musicians.
Click here for information on tickets (RM63 per day).