For the avid jazz enthusiasts, the annual Penang Island Jazz Festival (PiJF) represents the ultimate gathering of some of the island’s most prominent Jazz programme s of the year. Set to take place at its regular spot at the Bayview Beach Resort from 1 – 4 December, the four-day festival is going to wow its audience once again presenting only some of the most outstanding musicians and artists from the Jazz world.
The James Boyle Trio formed by James P.S. Boyle, the son of James W Boyle, or more famously known as Jimmy Boyle, is set to perform a tribute of old Malaysian Jazz Classics in a 40 minute set at this year’s festival. James Boyle, a Boh Cameronian award winning music director and graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music will be heading the trio with Ruslan Imam, Ruvi Ruslan featuring two Malaysian songbird – Liyana Fizi and Bihzhu.
Ruslan Imam is a revered arranger, bass player and colleague of Boyle from Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan (ASWARA). Imam has a regular presence in the Malaysian music industry since the 1980’s.
Ruvi Ruslan , founder of contemporary group “No Noise Percussion”, is also the drummer for his own band Go Gerila! Picking up the drum at the tender age of ten, Ruslan went on to study and graduated with a degree in music composition from UiTM. He has also performed alongside artists such as Aizat Amdan, Liyana Fizi and Amir Jahari.
The trio will be presenting some of the most popular classics ever composed by Jimmy Boyle including the Penang State Anthem Untuk Negeri Kita, Putera Puteri, Jauh Jauh, Ingat Ingat, Bunga Negara, Sang Bayu, Ke Hulu Ke Hilir and many more. Jimmy Boyle has composed over 350 tunes over his short lifetime.
James Boyle has performed at PiJF in 2006 under James Boyle & The Ragged Tigers and also at the fringe programmes in 2010. Boyle continues to perform regionally in various Jazz festivals and is a music lecturer at ASWARA while actively composes for the corporate and theatre scene. He is also a Certified Movie director and a Line Producer from the Hollywood Film Institute and the author of ‘Putera Puteri The Music and the legacy of Jimmy Boyle’.
The stellar lineup this year also includes Mathias Heise, one of the very few jazz harmonica players from Denmark. Already an established artists, Mathias has already performed with popular names such as Niels Lan Doky, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Ira Coleman, and Danish jazz’ grand old man Hugo Rasmussen, among others. Voted as the ‘New Jazz Star of The Year’ in 2015 in Denmark, he was also the chromatic harmonica World Championship in Trossingen, Germany in 2013.
Other lineups include Joshua Davis performing a blend of American music with gritty rock n’ roll and vintage soul; Vladimir Cetkar Trio bewitching us with his magical jazz guitar alongside his passion and wide repertoire; Rafal Sarnecki Quintet originally from Warsaw Poland; Rotterdam-based fusion band – Marutyri; a classic Korean Jazz band Kim Oki Band; Timo Vollbrecht: Fly Magic and a many more.
If you are a newbie to Jazz, fret not as tickets to the festival are also sold for separate days. Take a step back, watch the setting sun and enjoy the festival – a tropical jazz festival by the sea is not so bad after all.