Change of rhythm
By Tony Mariadass
Pictures by: Mohd Firdaus Abdul Latif
Bringing jazz to the food court
JAZZ AMpang has been jamming as one of the most unusual spots for over five years and now. It's campaign has produced hundreds of artists and thousands of new fans each month.
Jazz Ampang made another historical mark last Sunday when it held its 55th edition of its monthly event at the Dagang Avenue Food Court (DAFC), a reasonably affordable eatery in Taman Dagang, Ampang.
The Dagang Avenue Foof Court (DAFC) Ampnag, may not be the right place for jazz, but the idea is to gather musicians and enthusiasts at an afforodable venue where the public could come and appreciate the music.
Jazz Ampang was initiated by Jazz Community Malaysia (JAZZCOMM) which was conceived, in the wee hours after a No Black Tie performance by a few amazing jazz musicians from the region on April 16, 2010, who urged Datuk Nik A Azmi nicknamed Bul and regarded as the ‘Father of Malaysian Jazz’, to head it.
JAZZCOM’s objectives were to:
· To nurture the love of jazz among the Malaysian youth
· To create opportunities for Malaysian artistes to collaborate with International artistes
· To promote cultural and musical exchanges with the hope of turning Kuala Lumpur into a nexus for live music
JAZZCOMM) is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious, non-racial and non-violent grouping of sane, highly motivated and healthy group of people who simply love music in general and music genre known as Jazz in particular.
Jazz Ampang was also formed by Nik Azmi and Jart Hassan on 11
November 2010 and had its first event on the last Sunday of November 2010 at Bora Ombak Ampang.
Jart Hassan was appointed to run JAZZ AMPANG as its chairman with Nik
Azmi acting as Advisor.
“Bora Ombak was a nice place to hold Jazz Ampang but it was like any other clubs where jazz is performed.
“It was then decided that we need to bring jazz to the people and hence a new venue was sought to attain this objective,” Nik Aziz who is also the founder organising chairman of the annual World Yuth Jazz Festival in Kuala Lumpur and president of the Kuala Lumpur Rugby.
Jart Hassan scouted around Ampang to hold the monthly last Sunday of the month Jazz Ampang event and decided on DAFC, which the owners were kind enough to let Jazz Ampang be staged there for free on the last Sundays of every month, save for the months where Jazz Ampang goes on a Road Tour or taking a much need break now and then like during fasting month.
Costs of staging Jazz Ampang since it’s’ inception in 2010 to date have been borne by well-wishers and office bearers of JAZZCOMM and JAZZ AMPANG themselves.
The highlight of Jazz Ampang events are the entertaining jam sessions that have seen many talented world class jazz musicians performing from within Malaysia and abroad.
Hundreds of musicians have performed and jammed at DAFC since.
Jazz Ampang also initiated the Jazz in the park at The Panggung Anniversary at Lake Gardens in the city.
“The Ampang stage has had witnessed some of the best performers in town, crafting their skills in front of the 'unwelcomed' crowd at the food court. The peculiar look on each face of the people in front of the wood platform later became the most chanting crowd every time Jazz Ampang was staged.
“Just like Sinatra's famous quote "when I bit off more than I could chew, Jazz Ampang have been through it all - hard times and good times, blood sweat and tears...you name it! That's the price of doing uncommon things for the community, bringing jazz to the people instead of the other way round. But we did it, in our own very way,” said Nik Aziz.
After celebrating its’ fifth anniversary on the last Sunday in November 2015, Jazz Ampang held its’ 55th event on 31 January 2016 with young musicians given the spotlight on the night.
A school jazz band from Kepong with musicians’ ages ranging from 13 to18 started the night followed by a guest appearance from the father and daughter combination of Mohd Abid Ismail a veteran musician and Nadia Adha known as Body and Soul.
Also in attendace was Nada Akustika – a family band from Kampar, Klang formed by Zaiyadi Ismail which comprise of his six children – Diana Adzeanty (23 years-old), Muhamad Dini (19), Muhammad Danial (17), Muhammad Ammar (14), Nurkhairunnisa (13), Muhammad Amer (six) and neighbour Zakhwan Haqem (16).
It was indeed a sight to see hundreds of patrons from young to old of DAFC enjoying a meal or drink and having the opportunity to witness jazz performances.
It certainly gave jazz a new meaning which was not only meant to be enjoyed by affluent society but by any jazz lover at an affordable place where the mass crowd gather.