Image credit: Malaysian Jazz Piano Festival

If you’re a music lover or someone who enjoys quality music, then the 4th edition of the Malaysian Jazz Piano Festival which takes place this weekend will whet your music taste buds.

Here we’ve compiled reasons why you should and must check out Malaysia’s biggest and arguably the world’s one of a kind jazz festival!

Image credit: klpac
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Michael Veerapen on the piano. Image credit: klpac

A festival by musicians for musicians (and music lovers)

Touted as the brainchild of Malaysia’s foremost jazz musician, Michael Veerapen – the festival could only happen with the assistance of several Malaysian jazz pianists such as Tay Cher Siang, Justin Lim, David Gomes and John Dip Silas. Realising that the creative potential – especially in the Malaysian music scene – is huge, these passionate musicians came up with the idea to introduce a festival where music and jazz can be enjoyed and celebrated. Starting out in 2013, this year marks their fourth-year in successfully hosting the event at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac). 

Free music clinics!

The wonderful thing about the festival is the fact that there will be free clinics conducted throughout the festival. Pianist Toro Cheng would provide lessons on the fundamentals of harmony – which includes diving into topics such as chord construction, diatonic harmonies, tensions and more. 

While Justin Lim would be providing his take on advanced jazz voicing, Ch’ng Wee Lern will show beginners jazz improvisation. Edvard Lee would reveal improvisations which fusion jazz lovers can try their hands out. We’re excited for John Oommen’s “Making Your Home Recording Sound Great”. Piano maestro Tay Cher Siang would also be among the big names who will be providing free lessons during the clinics.

These are basically stuff which you have to pay for when you seek for such classes outside!  

A variety of musicians

Michael says the team has learnt alot from the feedback and criticism that they had received from last year’s festival. And based on the pointers received, they have included a lot more variety in the form of featured musicians. This year, you’ll see leading saxophonist Julian Chan and guitarist Az Samad included among others. Michael says this way, the team hopes to become more inclusive and build a larger community consisting of musicians young and old.

Next you have well known musicians such as Steve Nanda, Samantha Lim, Lim Lee Peng, Melvin Goh, Tengku Indra, Alton Wong and Grace Leong who will be present to enliven the audience too.  

A more entertaining jazz piano competition 

The Malaysian Jazz Piano Competition is also among the elements which were tweaked and improved upon. For this year, there will be new and challenging components. What makes the competition even more interesting is that the finalists will be given an original piece one day before their performance. 

“They will have to demonstrate their skills in adapting it into a compelling performance,” Michael says. It’s gonna be interesting to see how each musician improvises. Jazz is, after all, all about improvising.

So there you have it, four reasons why it’s a must to go for the 4th Malaysian Jazz Piano Festival! While the clinics are free, the shows can be attended at an affordable rate.

The festival begins on January 13 and ends on January 15. Tickets are priced from RM 75 (adults), RM 30 (students), and RM 165 for all three days. For more information, head on over to klpac’s website! Have an event coming up, send us a press invite or press release to