Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival KLIJF 2013

Leading contemporary Jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour and Alto Saxophonist  Rudresh  Mahanthappa who has been  voted by the Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) Jazz Award for “Alto Saxophonist of the Year” five times in a row including 2013, are set to  headline the  KL International Jazz Festival 2013  where contemporary jazz, smooth jazz, straight ahead jazz, classic jazz, jazz – rock, r&b, swing, funk, classic rock  and blues converge.

To be held on 14th September at the University Malaya, other international acts slated to perform at the one day Jazz Festival include  Smooth Jazz  Lady saxophonist Mexican-American Jessy J, ex- Billy  Cobham guitarist Carl Orr from London, Progressive Jazz Rock Fusion groups The Subterraneans from Sydney,   and Kazutoki Umezu Kiki  Band  from Tokyo, and R & B Sax player  eZra Brown from New York.   Making a debut in Asia at the Jazz Festival in Kuala Lumpur is the lovely singer /songwriter from South Africa, Zamajobe.

More than 100 musicians from North America, Europe, Australia, Iran, Japan, South Africa, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia  will perform at the explosive Jazz Festival.

KLIJF is a signature event for KL and a premier Jazz Festival for  Malaysia. KLIJF is a “must be there” event – a major city attraction for music lovers,  lifestyle seekers, tourists and expatriates. KLIJF is  a critically  acclaimed Jazz Festival and is winner of the coveted The Brand Laureate Best Brands Awards 2011-2012  “Country Brand Award”  and 10 awards for   the International Artistes who performed at the KLIJF 2012. KL International Jazz  joins  the global community subscribing to UNESCO’s   declared virtues of jazz music as an  instrument of world peace, cooperation   and international culture.


KL Set to Swing in September 2013!

Venue: University Malaya

Date: 14th September 2013

Time: 11.00am to 12 midnight


Yang Berbahagia Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib, the Honourable Mayor of Kuala Lumpur

“Jazz is restless. It won’t stay put and it never will”- trombonist J. J. Johnson

Lee Ritenour

A Grammy award winner, and one of the most outstanding  guitarists in modern jazz,  Lee Ritenour was a founding member of Fourplay, the most successful band in contemporary jazz. The first Fourplay album in 1991 spent an unprecedented 33 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart.

Beginning as a session   player at the age of  16 with the Mamas and Papas to accompanying Lena Horne and Tony Bennett at 18, his career spanning over forty years is highlighted by a Grammy Award win for his 1986 collaboration with Dave Grusin, Harlequin; 17 Grammy nominations; numerous #1 spots in guitar polls and the prestigious “Alumnus of the Year” award from USC. He has recorded over 40 albums, with 35 chart songs, notably the Top 15 hit “Is It You,” which has become a contemporary jazz radio classic.

From the styles of  Wes Montgomery to  Brazilian music, from rock to blues to jazz, he has recorded  over 3,000 sessions with  a diverse set of  artists such as Pink Floyd (The Wall), Steely Dan (Aja), Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, B.B. King, Frank Sinatra, Simon & Garfunkel, Ray Charles, Peggy Lee, Aretha Franklin and Barbra Streisand. Lee   has also collaborated with some of the biggest names in jazz and contemporary music including Phil Collins, Brazilian greats Ivan Lins, Caetano Veloso, Djavan and Jao Bosco, George Benson, Chaka Kahn, Herbie Hancock, Michael McDonald and opera great Renee Fleming.

Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Samdhi

Alto saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa  is one of the rare musicians to embody the expansive possibilities of his music with his culture. Time and again, Mahanthappa has eloquently displayed the capacity to absorb numerous styles and genres of music, combine them with the language of modern jazz, and emerge with a new form still recognizably jazz.

Honored by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation as a 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award recipient, one of only twenty individuals to receive the award in the fields of contemporary dance, jazz and theatre, He  has also been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and commissions from the Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund, Chamber Music America and the American Composers Forum.

Mahanthappa has received a number of prestigious nominations, awards, and grants. Mahanthappa won a 2013 Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) Jazz Award for “Alto Saxophonist of the Yearhis fifth consecutive JJA win and was  named alto saxophonist of the year in Downbeat’s 2011 International Critics Poll.

These impressive accolades, as well as critical praise from such influential outlets as NPR, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice and the New Yorker, spotlight Mahanthappa’s expanding role as a pioneer in the contemporary jazz world.

Mahanthappa who lives in New York  leads or co-leads seven projects.  Despite the vast variety of influences on display throughout  numerous disparate projects, one constant is the voice that the New York Times has hailed as possessing “a roving intellect and a bladelike articulation.”

Mahanthappa recently earned a MAP Grant to complete his work with the Ragamala dance group in Minneapolis. The program, which will take place in May 2014 at the Walker Art Center, is a new dance work conceived by Aparna Ramaswamy and created in collaboration with Mahanthappa – the pair received the grant as a team. The program, titled “Song of the Jasmine, will demonstrate how two first-generation Indian-Americans have been influenced by their cultural identities in two different ways.


Jessy J

After graduating from University of Southern California  Jessy J worked with Michael Bublé and toured with The TemptationsJessica SimpsonMichael Bolton, and Seal.  Jessy J also performed as a member of the Henry Mancini Jazz Orchestra.

Her song “Tequila Moon” from her  album “ Tropical rain” hit the #1 spot on the Billboard Jazz chart. Her song “Tropical Rain”, from her 2009 release, reached the top of the Groove Jazz Music chart and also took the #1 spot on the Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown, as well as the R&R and Billboard Jazz charts. Jessy’s Album “Hot Sauce”  debuted at #1 on Billboard Jazz and was featured in People Espanol and Latina Magazine. The album includes performances by Jazz Legends Joe SampleHarvey Mason, and Ray Parker Jr.


South African   emerging top female vocalist and songwriter Zamajobe Sithole  is making huge waves  with her debut album already  achieving GOLD status ((sales in excess of 25 000 units). Released  through SONY BMG Music Entertainment/Giant Steps label, NDAWO YAMI (My Place),  the album announces the arrival of a substantial new talent on the African continent’s recorded music scene.

Growing up listening to  funk, jazz and many other genres of music she is equally comfortable with a  broad range of styles including  jazz, folk, traditional, Latino even, pop and  adult contemporary. With an astonishingly beautiful voice, she captivates  her listeners with ease and simplicity.

Never overpowering, her singing  strikes  a balance with just enough high of emotions.

Zamajobe has never been one for the strident, at times overbearing vocals beloved by so many of today’s stars: as NDAWO YAMI more than reveals, Zamajobe uses her voice at times sparingly, often with a slightly breathless edge, and always plump with just enough emotion to talk directly into the heart of anyone in hearing range.

One of the highlights  of her  career is when  American Guitarist  Lee Ritenour spotted her talent and  requested  her to sing     the Bill Withers  hit song “Lovely Day” and the Stereophonics composition “ Maybe Tomorrow” in his albums.


The Christy Smith Quartet  and the KLK will focus on  straight ahead jazz.  Ex- Heritage guitarist Chris  Ong from Singapore will pay homage to the blues and classic  rock. Supported by Color Codes,  he will play  a mix of  songs by Sonny Boy Williamson, Free, Jimi Hendrix, Otis Rush and other blues masters.

Iranian outfit TrioMyn  led by Keyboardist Maziyar Khavajian will perform a fusion of  Persian, Arabic, Indian  and western contemporary music and rhythms.

Ex-James Brown drummer Eric Hargrove  and  Hong a top  jazz drummer from Bangkok will also  play  at the festival.

Home grown talents include Jose Thomas and Jordan Rivers both leading jazz guitarists from KL.  Both Jose and Jordan  are  familiar  faces in the local scene and have been around for more than 30 years.  Others include  Cats in Love, UiTM Jazz Ensemble, UCSI Contemporary Ensemble, Ballads &  Blues,  John Thomas Trio, Jazz pianist John Dip Silas leading his trio, Koolskool, Square Circles, Steve Thornton and  Razak Rahman with The KL Jazz Project, and  from Penang Viv Adram and the Northern Jazz Unit.

Other Highlights

  • A Jazz Tribute to P. Ramlee
  • Art exhibition

A Jazz Tribute to P. Ramlee

One of the highlights at the festival  is a  Jazz Tribute to our own legendary P. Ramlee by The UM Big band led by Professor Dr. Mohd Nasir Hashim, Director Cultural Centre,  University Malaya.

Art exhibition and Sale  

As in the  major music festivals, KLIJF will also hold an Art Exhibition  by some of the top artistes and emerging talents in the country.

Other Highlights include 4  indoor and outdoor stages, booths offering food, art, fashion, eco products, kids zone, Charity and CSR and  a  Hot Air Balloon show.


Festival Village Entry Tickets @ RM 60.00  and All Excess Tickets @ RM 138.00 onwards. All Excess ticket holders  will be entitled to the village stages as well as all the  in-door shows  at the Dewan Tunku Chancellor.

Tickets are available at:     Hot line: 03-77251177

For further information please log on to or call 03-57377742 / 03-5637 1539.

About KL International Jazz Sdn Bhd

Established in 2011, KL International Jazz Sdn Bhd (KLIJ) is the producer and promoter of the Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival. The KL International Jazz Festival  has hosted  world class top  tier international and local  artistes such as the NEA Jazz Master Ahmad Jamal, Grammy award winners Ernie Watts and  David Sanborn, Hiromi  Trio  Project featuring  Anthony Jackson and Steve Smith, Everette Harp, Nicole Henry, Simone,  David Helbock, French Sumo, Indra Lesmana, Michael Veerapen, Trevor Jalla, Meg Okura and many others.

The   KL International Jazz Festival 2013 is supported by Dewan Bandaraya KL and sponsored by Malaysia Airlines. Venue partner is University  Malaya.

The information is current as of the date of publication. It is subject to change without notice.

Written by Budiey

Penggemar filem seram yang obses dengan gajet & teknologi terkini dan masih tegar menjadi pengendali portal hiburan & gaya hidup sejak tahun 2007. Kini aktif menjadi Youtuber & Podcaster yang menemubual selebriti dalam BORAK SINI HABIS SINI dan menerbitkan program BULETIN VIRAL di Budiey Channel.

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