Publika Jazz 2016: Malaysia’s Largest Free Jazz Festival

Date: 26 and 27 August
Venue: The Square (8pm to 12am), Black Box (8pm to 11pm), The Bee (8pm to 10pm), The Social (12am)


Malaysia’s Largest FREE Jazz Festival
Held over two-days at four different venues within Publika, the annual Publika Jazz is held to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Publika that featured both local and international jazz musicians.

The Groove Messengers
The Groove Messengers is founded by one of Malaysia’s promising and talented drummer Bob Skunjas. He is also the backbone of the band Fieldplayers as well as playing for Jesseltone, Tilu some of Malaysia’s top artists in the Jazz scene with such as Amirah Ali, Patrick Tebrack, John Dip Silas and Albert Yap.

Kirana Kay and Her Associates
A vocalist that performs authentic Jazz, Pop Rock, Traditional Malay, R&B and Soul. Compatible with contemporary genres, Kirana is a regular feature at Kuala Lumpur’s entertainment industry. A gifted vocalist with wide array of modern contemporary repertoire, she won the Juara Bakat Pencarian Media Hiburan 2014.

Abdul and The Coffee Theory (Indonesia)
Abdul and The Coffee Theory is the name used by a full name Tengku Abdullah Amin Mohammed Ashari to work in the world of Indonesian music. Abdul, who was born 18 April 1983 is famous for the unique vocal character and very fit combined with easy listening music Abdul nuanced pop jazzy style, making all his work draws from all sides. Not only offers easy jazz and pop songs wrapped typical jovial folk essence, Abdul also made the lyrics are very unique, intelligent and relatively smooth, so for those who hear must feel ‘I Banget!’. The concept of the band is represented by the name of The Coffee Theory (although this name is actually intended for people in the neighborhood close to Abdul who likes coffee) are expected to give freshness Indonesian music world today. Abdul is now very well known in the music industry as a producer and song writer, among his works have been performed by soloist/group of talented in Indonesia as Andien, Nina Tamam and 7 icons.

Keithen Carter (USA)/Frank Hergott (France)/Koh Saxman (Thailand)
Keithen Carter is a versatile singer and lyricist from the USA, he studied Art at Chicago Art Institute, where he developed a talent for writing songs and performing. He then went on to become a recognised Artist and has also proven himself as a theatre actor on the Chicago stage in a variety of roles. Keithen Carter has worked with artists as diverse as soul music’s Curtis Mayfield, jazz virtuoso Stanley Clarke and pop diva Madonna.

Frank Hergott started playing the piano at the age of 9 years and familiarize himself with different directories (classical, gospel, jazz). Youngest of a large family, his listening very eclectic music (60’s to 80’s) that his sister and brothers listen. This wide range of artistic influences was decisive in his musical career and his passion for composition. After getting his price of classical and jazz piano at the Conservatoire de Strasbourg, he continued his studies at the Berklee College of Music in Boston (USA). This study stay in the USA allows him to meet extraordinary musicians such as Jerry Bergonzi, Hal Crook, George Garzone, Ray Santisi, Alain Mallet, Laszlo Gardony, Ed Tomassi. He discovered the American method whose approach to art education is very pragmatic and structured.

Koh Saxman or Koh has been the familiar name to Thai audiences and musicians for almost 20 years as a saxophone artist who has done many recording works for many artists, as well as his own studio albums.
Koh was born in 1973, and graduated from Chulalongkorn University in Music Education (1991-1994), even though he had chosen Accounting as the first major for his education before changing to music field.



Az Samad and Samantha De Lune
Az Samad – Guitarist-Composer-Educator Az Samad has been performing internationally for the past 19 years, across the United States, Europe and Asia. Blending his classical guitar training with his harmonic sensibility from his jazz pedigree, Az’s jazz guitar renditions are both sophisticated to experienced jazzers and accessible to the general audience. His compositions have been described as “at times playful and irreverent, and at other times lyrical and soulful, but always inventive, tastefully crafted and beautifully nuanced — an absolute pleasure to listen to.”

Samantha De Lune – Having been alluded to have “a voice of an extremely rare earthy quality” accompanied by a flare for storytelling through song, Samantha de Lune’s striking confidence and poise is evidently far beyond her years. Armed with the motto “I sing because words are not enough”, de Lune’s extensive portfolio ranges across public appearances, private and corporate events, radio and TV commercials, short films and more. Taking to the stage alongside household name Az Samad, this very special one-time-only performance features a string of signature Malaysian tunes from iconic artistes P. Ramlee and Jimmy Boyle.

Janine Annice (UK)
Janine Annice has been steadily carving her name into the very fibre of London’s underground music scene. Born and bred in the UK capital, where life is a fast, bright spectrum of intensity and emotion, she draws from her experiences with vocal versatility and a rare depth of range. Lending her talents to a multitude of genres ranging from alternative R&B and Chillwave to Jazz, she is creating a demand as a credible singer-songwriter on the circuit. Following the footsteps of the greats to grace the stages of the best venues; Cecil’s Speakeasy in London Bridge, and the world famous Hard Rock Cafe, her shows always leave her audiences clamouring for more. Currently wrapping up her debut EP “Signs of Life”, produced by French-Italian producer Pietro Caracciolo, Janine is working with the best young producers and musicians the city has to offer, such as Flowzart and Alex Dixon and the band “ATBS” to bring to fruition exciting new developments.

Tilu (Malaysia/Indonesia)
For those of you unfamiliar with Tilu, they are a band consisting of Malaysians and Indonesians who came together to cultivate their mutual love for music. With catchy tunes and fun chemistry on stage, you can’t help but want to know more about them. So here’s a peek into the band. Tilu starts with three young kids who just love to play music together while improving their music playing techniques through exposure to different musical genres such as jazz, R & B and funk. From a three-piece band they have expanded to a six-piece band. They’ve gathered quite a reputation as a young local jazz group. They have released a full-length album under KRU Studios. Tilu means “3” in bahasa Sunda and they are an experimental, jazzy, love-pop band consisting of eight members. The music of the band is an extension of the members themselves, which is to add some colour into the local music scene. Tilu believes in making music that makes people want to stop wars and just get intoxicated by love, peace and freedom.


THE BEE (8PM to 10PM)

Hazel Leong
Hailing from Penang, Hazel started her musical journey behind a drum set where she used to play in rock bands and then gracefully transitioned into the girl with that lovely voice behind the microphone. Her passion flares for singing as she discovers herself comfortably expressing her soul in the form of vocal art. Hazel no stranger to the local music scene. She has experienced playing in different bands as well as performing in various venues, cafés as well as music festivals in and out of Penang. Now she’s set to tantalize your music taste buds with Hazel’s alluring jazz vocal tone.

2013 Voice Independent Music Awards “Song of the Year” winner and “Vox-Pop Winner” in the Cabaret Song category for the USA-based 12th Independent Music Awards, the Penang-born Bihzhu is known for her rich, soulful voice and rapturous performances. An emerging songstress with a host of high-profile shows under her belt, she most recently returned from a 3-city tour of China, and continues to enchant audiences, from intimate acoustic concerts to music festivals in all around Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, China, and Australia. Her latest single ‘Bright Veins’ bubbles with positivity and follows in the tradition of her hit single ‘The Heart Way’, which was her contribution as one of the featured artists in Julie’s Biscuit’s nationwide Share The Love campaign in July 2011. The infectious and smile-inducing folk-pop gem, was also chosen for a Penang Global Tourism ad featuring the famed shoe couturier Jimmy Choo on the Asian Food Channel that aired for 14 weeks in 10 different countries. In 2013, Bihzhu started the #CribConcert series, a monthly show that paired the intimacy of a house concert with the technology of live streaming, where a different guest artiste and Bihzhu herself would stage a private concert from the comfort of a home of hosts like popular radio DJs Kavin Jay, PM Wang and others, while broadcasting to a worldwide audience from Malaysia, UK, USA, Australia, UAE, Phillippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore.

Jamming Session with Publika Jazz All Stars




Aina and The Ground Passengers
Aina, is currently a music student in UCSI University, majoring in Contemporary Music Degree in Voice. Aina’s talent was discovered in the early years of her primary education. Since then, Nurul has competed in various singing competitions in and around her hometown of Negeri Sembilan. The first singing competition that she joined was Sayembara Puisi in which she grabbed the grand prize. Despite having shows and performances, she continues to participate in various singing competitions. She won first place in Golden Voices of PJ 2012, second place in Bintang Idola Berita Harian 2011, finalist of Bintang Irama 1 Malaysia RTM 2010 and more state singing competitions. Recently, she managed to grab the title of Senior Vocalist Champion Of The World in World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) held in Los Angeles. Meanwhile The Ground Passenger consists of Terrence Ling on drums, Jack Lim on keys, Ken Chung on bass & Chee Seng on guitar. Together they’ll accompany Aina Abdul for an interesting night of jazz fusion.

SIEL (Indonesia/Philippines/Portugal)
It is the release of their debut album ‘Deep Affection’ that will mark their true musical introduction to the universe, adopting a more Soul, R&B and Smooth jazz sound. Mohd Ritman (guitarist) and Steve Evans (keyboardist) decided to gather a group of the finest session musicians and form a band. The line-up has evolved over the years with lead singer Cathy Suello, drummer Stan Calvin and bassist Ricardo Ranito. Siel is comprised of musicians from Philippines, Indonesia and Portugal. In early March 2015, Siel recorded their first album, and their debut CD project ‘Deep Affection’ was released in February 2016.

Zahid Ahmad Project
Zahid Ahmad was born in 1966. He first discovered his talent at a very tender age of 10 years old. In 1978, he initiates his first album entitled “Degil” with a group called Spilt Times. Later became the co-producer and rhythm arranger for Zainal Abidin debut album “Hijau” that became best-selling album in Malaysia and co-producer and rhythm arranger for Zainal Abidin 2nd album “Gamal” that was released worldwide. Covering from ‘joget’ to jazz and all the colours and spices of the other side of Malay music, the Zahid Ahmad Project (ZAP) showcases a new style of Malay traditional jazz inspired by traditional rhythms and resonance that will give music enthusiasts a totally new experience of Malaysian music.

Alonso Gonzalez Latin Jazz Quintet (Colombia)
Alonso Gonzalez is catalogued by musical critics as modal of the Latin percussion in the Asian, European continent and South America. He has added to his quintet elements fused from Africa, Latin American, and the Caribbean, inspired by the groove and sounds of instruments like the Bomba from Puerto Rico, the African Dun Dun, the Guaguanco Cubano, the calypso, and certainly flavours from Caribbean of Colombian. All that follows the format of the Afro-Latin Jazz, showed in a simple way for a better appraisal of the virtuous sounds of the Artists in scene. Alonso and Jazz Latino brings to the World the Compostura, a groove fused with the cells of the Afro- Latin, African and Caribbean folk interpreted in a singular way with his renewed quintet, all of them with Colombian nationality and living in Bogotá.



“Funkatorie”, the brainchild of reputable music-director/keyboardist Hin Ee Jeng, is a soul-funk-jazz band based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Originally known as The Organ Trio, the band was later expanded with the addition of horn players, simultaneously diversifying their musical style. Influenced by the likes of Soulive, Maceo Parker and Joey Defrancesco, “Funkatorie” is made up of a group of highly-regarded musicians, namely mastermind organist Hin Ee Jeng, guitarist Dean Sim, drummer Derrick Siow, saxophonist Yow Weng Wai and trumpet player Eddie Wen.

Lawrence Wright Jazz Ensemble (US/New Zealand/Malaysia)
Lawrence Wright was once considered one of the great jazz musicians of his era. His understanding of music was profound and he knew how to reach the people. Unfortunately, he never found major success and was forced into early retirement. This quintet is proud of the Lawrence Wright legacy and have chosen to carry his name forward by recreating something he never got to, a jazz quintet featuring some of the best talents in Asia. This show will consist mostly of his exciting music and the thought provoking themes that centre around his controversial departure from jazz. We hope you will enjoy their presentation as the Lawrence Wright Jazz Ensemble.

Evie Fernandez
At barely 24 years of age, Evelyn Feroza Fernandez, fondly known as Evie is relatively fresh in the professional music scene. Although very much into current favourites like Bruno Marz, Ed Sheeran, Pink and even Amy Winehouse, this soulful young lady refers to herself as an old soul, for she finds her greatest inspiration from old greats including Ray Charles, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald and Shirley Bassey. Just like her idols, Evie does not believe that any song should be sung in vain. Which is one of the possible reasons why she has been making waves around local pubs, mesmerizing listeners with her heart-felt renditions of blues, jazz and classic rock . She’s known to touch her listeners’ hearts deeply.


THE BEE (8PM to 10PM)

Tasha Aleia
Tasha Aleia is a young and fresh new talent who brings her own style of pop, soul, RnB and a hint of funk with bags of energy to the stage. The upcoming artist has a unique and eccentric style along with her soothing and sultry vocals. Known for her energetic live shows, Tasha Aleia now performs with a collaboration of 4 young dynamic individuals backing her up on the keyboard, guitar, bass and drums. Her sound references a swath of influences–– from Tori Kelly, Joss Stone, Bluey Robinson to of course, the top influencer Queen Beyonce herself. With their unique chemistry, Tasha Aleia has performed at multiple corporate events and public gigs including her own featured night at No Black Tie, Merdekarya, The Bee as well as Laundry Bar. She has won numerous competitions (including band competitions) one where she, along with her bandmates represented Malaysia and competed internationally in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam for the Rock & Pop Soul Competition and took home the runner up title last August 2015. She also recently won the Soulfest competition– headlining the main stage of Soulfest Asia joining the likes of Mary J Blige, Omarion and Jhene Aiko! Tasha Aleia was also invited to perform at Air Asia’s 14th Anniversary Party early January 2016 at KL Convention Centre and even got to share the stage with the one and only surprise international guest, Ne-Yo!

Sasa and Friends
You may have heard of her from Crinkle Cut, a band that plays songs with their own music rendition, or Dotters’ Division, where she rocks out with an electric guitar. Melissa Sasa has been out in the scene for years, performing in various music festivals, concerts, corporate functions, weddings, appeared in radio shows and even recordings for commercials and voice-overs. She also sings back-up for Aubrey Suwito and is known as a versatile singer. This year, she decided to go solo, covering songs of various artists such as Hiatus Kaiyote, Emily King, Kimbra and more. Of course, she also hopes to create her very own music and albums in the future.


Jamming Session with Publika Jazz All Stars