Saturday, February 27, 2016

Jazz in the family

By Tony Mariadass

Jazzy teacher Nadia

Nobody would guess that jazz singer Nadia Adha Mohd Abid does her gig as a hobby and part-time singer and that her real profession is a teacher!
Yes, this 26-year-old Nadia teaches fulltime at the Malacca International School and sings at Geographer Café on Jonker Street on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays.
And she sings with her father Mohd Abid Ismail, who is an accomplished musician who has been in the scene for the last 40 years.
The oldest of two daughters, Nadia started singing at a tender age of five and started performing under Education Ministry since seven years old when she was schooling at SK Batu Berendam.
Both at primary school and secondary at SMK Munish Abdullah, she took part in all singing competition and won most of it. She also joined Konsert Di-Raja from 2002-2006 performing before His Royal Highness King of Malaysia.
Despite her young age, she sang both old and latest songs.
She was the finalist of Bintang Klasik competition (national level) and winner during the state and Malaysia Zone level.
She has been invited to perform at police, government, private functions and VVIP’s dinner show in Malacca, Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur, Pahang and Kelantan.
She has also done opening acts for Siti Nurhaliza’s concerts including at the corporate dinner show before the late Sultan Kelantan, Yang Maha Mulia Tengku Ismail Petra Ibni Al Marhum Sultan Yahya Petra in 2008.
Her versatility singing Malay traditional songs, pop ballad, jazz, R&B, slow rock and blues genre has certainly made her popular.
After performing with her father at functions, Nadia’s real performance on stage began nine years ago.
Her father was performing at Malacca’s Renaissance hotel with another singer. But the singer took leave too often and Abib decided to invite his daughter to stand in.
It was then that the hotel management happy with Nadia’s performance, decided to ask Abid to use Nadia as his permanent partner for the stint.
“It all started at Renaissance Hotel when I started singing regularly,” said Nadia recalling her early begging in the entertainment world.
“Then we had a regular patron, Mr Peter Tseng – who said I should try singing jazz numbers as my voice suited it.
“Next thing you know I was trying out jazz number and almost immediately fell in love with jazz. I started learning more jazz numbers.”
Nadia said that she continued singing even when she was when she pursuing her studies (in business studies and early childhood education) at the Multi-Media University and Open University respectively in both Malacca and Johor Baru.
“It was when Mr Peter – who is the owner of Geographer – who invited me and my father to perform at his outlet in 2010 and that started me performing more jazz numbers and even have a dedicated day for jazz music.”
Nadia and her father whose band is called Body and Soul Jazz Band perform on Monday’s jazz night together with session bassist Eppy and drummer Gene and on Friday and Saturdays perform as Body and Soul father and daughter band where they sing current number top 40 numbers.
Nadia first started out singing classic jazz by Loius Armstrong, Aretha Franklyn, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole but now combines the newer jazz numbers from Michael Buble, Diana Krall, Robbie Williams and Emilie Claire Barlow.
Among Nadia’s favourites are Georgia on my mind (Ray Charles), Me and Mr Jones (Bill Withers) and Mack the knife (Fitzgerald).
Nadia also has a younger sister, Diana Adha, 21, who is also a musician who plays the guitar and sings.
Diana also sings at the Geographer on Sundays from 4.00pm to 6.45pm singing top 40 numbers.
“Music runs in my family. But my father did not force me and my sister to take up music. But growing up with my father a musician all his life, it was only natural that we followed his footsteps,” said Nadia who has a single album which she cut in 2014 and the song Miliki Cintanya is used as the theme song in series drama Yes Boss.
“My mother – Juliaha Daud – is very supportive our involvement in music and most of the time comes with us when we perform.
Nadia said she and her father hardly practice because of her teaching schedule and only get their act together when they perform.
“If I am doing any new songs, I just let him know and just hit it off when we perform. He never tells me how to sing a song. But if he feels it is not right, he just ask me to go over it again. We just gel together with telepathic understanding.”
Nadia said she has had her primary students coming to the restaurant with their parents to listen to her and lend her support.
“The parents have no issues of me being an entertainer and teacher. But I have guests who pass remarks that as a Muslim I should not be performing and sometime the younger patrons get a little rowdy,” said Nadia who got engaged earlier this month to Syafiq Aziz, a mechanical engineer with UMW from Kuala Lumpur.
“My father naturally supports me full heartedly and my mother has no issues. I just turn a deaf ear to some adverse comments, while the staff at Geographer are very protective of me and take care of me. Besides, I have my parents by my side always.
“Even my finance has no issues. In fact, he met when he came to listen to the band when I was performing at Renaissance Hotel.

“I love what I am doing and music has been part and parcel of my life. I will continue to do what I love. I am thrilled that I can share my passion for music with others who appreciate and enjoy my singing.”

By Tony Mariadass

Malacca's own pianist man

Mohd Abid Ismail is a veteran musician, but never sought the publicity to be well known.
He has achieved what many musicians aspire to achieve, but he remains humble and keeps a low keep despite being involved in the music industry which he started off as an 17-year-old schoolboy.
The 61-year-old father of two daughters who are part of his music world – Nadia Adha (26) is a singer while the younger daughter, Diana (21) is a singer and guitarist – has never been featured in the print media.
Abid and Nadia form the combination as Body and Soul father and daughter band and Diana performs solo at the Geographer Café at Jonker Street in Malacca
Abid also performs as a pianist solo for the lunch patrons on weekends at Seri Malaysia Hotel since the hotel opened in Malacca nine years ago.
Born in Johor Baru, Abid started out by forming a band called Impian Tasik while in school at SM Sultan Ismail with three of his schoolmates.
Abid who does not read music but picked up by playing by ear is a well-travelled musician.
His early days band in the 80s – Wheels – had top musicians like drummer Syed Haron Ahmad the composer for the late Sudirman Arshad’s Warisan (Legacy) which was picked as 2014’s Merdeka theme song,  guitarist Abdul Hanan Khan and bassist Najib Hashim.
Abid also had another band – The Secret – which performed for six years and with whom he released his third album in 1989.
With Wheels he produced two albums which were released 1984 and 1986. His most popular songs, Dalam Kenangan  and Sekuntum Cinta is still being  aired in the radio.
“Sometimes when I am in a coffeshop and song is played over radio, it brings me back memories. But nobody in the shop recognises me as a band member of the band which produced the song. It sad, but I just get the satisfaction that it has become an evergreen hit.
“It was the same with Syed Haron’s composition Legacy despite being used as the thyme song for Merdeka celebrations in 2014 did not see it get the due credit.”
Abid said what Syed Haron had said in an interview was spot on. Syed Haron had said: “You have to understand, composers and lyricists don’t care for glamour and glory. All we want is for our songs to be sung and recorded by someone of great talent, like the late Sudir (Sudirman Arshad). However, being an old man… I can be a little bit sensitive. My joy that my song is being used to celebrate the nation’s 57th independence overwhelms the slight feeling of sadness and hurt that I was not credited.”
But Abid said that he looks back on his journey in music all these years reminiscing all the good times, the joy and satisfaction he has derived to keep him more than happy despite not being popular.
In 1995, Abid had performed solo as a pianist in Renaissance Hotel, Malacca for three years. In 1998, he joined Gan Shots band as a keyboardist.
 In 2002, to enrich his skills in music as composer and music programmer, he joined Malacca’s Briged Seni, as a music composer under the State of Melaka Tourism bureau.
During his career as a musician and composer with the group, he also had performed internationally in Jakarta, Sumatera, Medan, Sri Lanka, Bangkok, Singapore and Cambodia.
At home besides Malacca, he has performed mostly in hotels in Johor Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Terengganu, Pangkor Island and Langkawi.
Abid even had his soundtrack Sekuntum Cinta being used as the thyme song for a Filipino drama series- Angelito - which was translated into Bahasa Malaysia and shown in Malaysia in the 80s.
It was in September 2006, with the intention to expose his daughter Nadia, he decided to perform again in Renaissance Hotel.
The rest is history as Body and Soul was born and have been a mainstay at Geographer and a hit pair in Malacca.
Abid has gone on to earn a nickname as Abid the Pianist.
“Music has been my life and I have no regrets. Maybe I may not be as popular has other musicians, but music has brought so much joy to me,” said Abid.
“And now to see my two daughters in music too, I gives me great satisfaction that my legacy will live on.”
Indeed, Abid is a legend in his own right and although he is not famous he has done his part to make music richer in Malaysia.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Much ado about nothing


In an overzealous desire to finish at the top in the 19th SEA Games, Malaysia as hosts dropped several disciplines from the initial list of 34 sports, besides excluding five sports.
But the announcement by Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja'afar, after chairing the OCM Technical and Sports Committee’s meeting last week, drew fire from Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. He claimed that OCM had undermined his role as the chairman of the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Sea Games organising committee.
Although he had endorsed the list of sports, he said he did not give the go-ahead for the announcement.
But Tunku Imran had made the announcement on the basis that OCM are the governors of sports in the country, especially the multi-sports Games, under the jurisdiction of the Olympic Council of Asian and International Olympics Council.
Besides, Tunku Imran explained that the initial list had to be announced before the first series of SEA Games Federation (SEAGF), which was held over two days and ended on Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur.
This was to enable the delegates to study the list, discuss it and make recommendations and appeals first to the SEAGF sports and rules committee, then the SEAGF executive meeting and finally the SEAGF council meeting on Wednesday morning.
Before announcing the initial 34 sports and 342 events, Tunku Imran had made it clear that it was only an initial list that was based on criteria that were in place and that appeals were welcome. He said all indications were that more sports and events will be included in the final list, which will only be announced at the next SEAGF meeting to be held in Kuala Lumpur on July 13 and 14.
It was the same when Singapore hosted the Games last year. They announced an initial list of 30 but finally hosted 36 sports and 402 events.
Besides wanting to organise the best SEA Games ever in 2017 and become overall champions in the gold medal tally, the criteria considered for the list announced included:
·        The strength of the National Sports Association (NSA) - its governance and policymaking structure, management and administrative and financial structure;
·        The availability of technical knowledge and officials to organise the sport; the NSA's development and training programme over the past four years and next three years;
·        NSA’s ability to identify athletes and their achievements over the past two SEA Games (with statistics and records); having the athletes to participate in 2017 SEA Games (with statistics and supporting documents);
·        The ranking of the athletes in Southeast Asia and the ranking of other  athletes in the region;
·        Appeal and popularity of the sport in Malaysia and elsewhere in the region and availability of venues and cost of organisation.
Sadly, several NSAs did not furnish the full details and just wanted their sports or events to be included. There were even some NSAs who threatened to take their case to the sports minister if their sport was dropped.

But with an avenue to appeal, there was no need for the national associations and member SEAGF countries to push the panic button.
At the SEAGF meeting, which ended on Wednesday, there were already 40 verbal appeals, of which many were for traditional sports. All appeals are to be submitted in writing to the Malaysian SEA Games Organising Committee (MASOC) by mid-March.
OCM also adhered to the SEAGF Charter and Rules where it clearly states of three category of sports for the Games:
·        Category 1 - compulsory sports (athletics and aquatics which include swimming, diving and water polo as compulsory disciplines as synchronised swimming as optional)
·        Category 2 - sports in the Olympics and Asian Games where a minimum of 14 must be included
·         Category 3 - other sports – a minimum of two and a maximum of eight – which mainly are traditional sports.
In addition each sport adopted must belong to an existing International Sport Federation and/or an Asian Sport Federation.
The organising committee may hold as a ‘demonstration sports’, one sport only but subject to the approval of the SEAGF executive committee.
The fact that the delegates from 10 member countries (besides Malaysia) had unanimously endorsed the initial 34 sports and 342 sports on Wednesday at the SEAGF Council meeting, underlined that there was harmony among the member countries and respected the host nation.
However, it is fact that the initial list announced is lopsided in favouring Malaysia and has putting member nations at disadvantage and surely the true sportsmanship of the Games had taken a back seat.
But this is a normal scene at the Games when the host nation will manipulate the sports and events to place themselves in the best position either to finish tops in the final medal tally or at worst achieve their best ever medal finish in the Games.
When Myanmar hosted the Games for the first time in 2013 they finished second with a total haul of 86 gold medal behind champions Thailand (107). But at the next Games in Singapore last year, Myanmar could only muster 12 gold medals and finished 7th!
Singapore as host finished second with 84 gold medals while the Thais were the champions again with 95 gold medals.
Indonesia as host in 2011 won a whopping 182 gold medals, while Vietnam as host in 2009 finished second with 83 gold medal, Philippines emerged tops with 113 gold medal as host in 2005 and Vietnam were champions when they hosted in 2003 with 158 gold medals.
Malaysia was no different when it last hosted the Games in 2001 when it emerged champions with 111 gold medals.
Only Thailand is a powerhouse no matter where the Games is hosted having emerged champions 13 times since Sea Games made its debut as Seap Games in 1959 and more often than not finishing second or third overall most of the other times.
Indonesia is another nation who have a good track record in the Games having emerged champions ten times.
Malaysia have time and again complained of the unfairness when other countries host and now as host we are no different.
Dropping eight events each from athletics and swimming and ten events from shooting will certainly reflect badly on Malaysia being unsporting.
There is plenty of room to make the list of sports and events more attractive and less one-sided and it is hoped that true sportsmanship will displayed by Malaysia in the end.

It is learnt that marathon will definitely be back on the athletics list and there is even a move to have a marathon run for the public at the same time.

Meanwhile, the misunderstanding between the sports minister and OCM is unhealthy.

Certainly, it can be resolved through discussion because the ultimate goal of both is the same – to organise the best-ever Games and emerge as champions.

Besides, by taking OCM to task for various reasons, including telling them that their judgement of the selection of sports for the Games was poor, was in bad taste. This could be seen as government interference, which IOC will not take lightly.

Khairy may be a busy man with a tight schedule but if he had attended the SEAGF dinner on Tuesday, he could have met the delegates from the ten countries, got their feedback and won them over with his charisma. This s a missed opportunity that could have assisted Malaysia in finalising the programme they desired for the Games.

At the end of the day, it is the prerogative of the host nation to finalise the list, subject to the support of the SEAGF council.

But the question we must ask is, do we want to become overall champions through a ‘tailored’ list of sports and events and take pride in that or compete on a level playing field and achieve whatever best results we are capable of through fair and true sportsmanship?

TONY is a sports
journalist with more than
three decades of experience
and is passionate about
local sports.
He can be reached at
Twitter: @tmariadass​​​

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Gone are the days of a safe KL

By Tony Mariadass

Midnight snatch thieves

“What is becoming of the once safe Kuala Lumpur city? 
Gone are the days when one could go anywhere in the city at any time of the day feeling safe. 
We constantly hear of snatch thieves making with valuables from unassuming victims in day broad light and we have even had death.
A friend’s sister died because head injuries suffered in a snatch-thief incident at a housing estate in Klang. 
Just last week, a veteran sports official related to me how his wife had a chain snatched near Dataran Merdeka from a snatch thief on a motorcycle who came from the opposite direction she was walking with her son-in-law. Luckily his aged wife did not fall, but was shocked by the incident.
On Monday night, I was at Hard Rock Café with a few friends to witness the Lion Dance performance which is held every year. While in conversation, Ronnie Krishnan, a veteran crime journalist, related how former national hockey captain Mirawan Nawawi had his hand phone snatched from his ears as he had stepped out of Hard Rock Café to pick up a call.
But little did I realise that hours later I was going to witness a snatch thief right in front of my eyes.
After leaving Hard Rock Café, my friends decided that we go to another outlet near KLCC. As I did not drive that night, I hitched a ride with one of my friends as he drove the car I was seated in the passenger seat.
The drive from Hard Rock Café to the outlet took less than five minutes, but I witnessed left me dumbfounded.
As we were negotiating the bend close to Mandarin Oriental Hotel, I noticed an elderly Caucasian gentleman trying to cross the road lugging with him a travelling bag, carry a plastic bag and a sling bag over his shoulders.
I told my friend to slow down to allow the gentleman to cross and just that a motorcyclist from the right side of the car shot out as I screamed to my friend to avoid hitting him.
As my friend jammed his brakes, the next thing I knew the solo motorcyclist wearing shorts and a full helmet shot towards the gentleman and in one movement snatched the sling bag as the gentleman lost his balance and fell to the ground with his luggage and shopping bag strewn across the road.
We completely caught by surprise by the incident as in disbelief saw it happen right in front of me.
We wanted to stop to help the gentleman as the motorcyclist fled in lightning speed, but cars behind us forced us to move on as I saw from the side mirror, some people assisting the shocked gentleman.
I am sad that I could stop to assist the gentleman.
The incident happened just past midnight and at a place which is flooded with tourists.
What kind of impression would have the incident given to tourists who witnessed the unfortunate event. Would the victim ever come back to Malaysia and what would he have to say about Malaysia to his relatives and friends back home? Above all what kind of suffering this gentleman would have endured? Probably lost his travel documents, passport, personal identifications and money.
It can happen to anyone of us and I personally will have a phobia walking the streets in the city be it daylight or after dark.
This incident will definitely be etched on my mind for a long time to come.”

Friday, February 19, 2016

Recognise the unsung heroes

It is great that past sports personalities are honoured with state or federal awards on the birthdays of the various royalty. 
However, one cannot help but wonder why so many other deserving and iconic candidates out there have been left out or ignored. 
Certainly, the royalty cannot be blamed for this because they cannot be expected to go through the list of recipients. After all, it is the state, national and regional sports bodies as well as individuals who make the recommendations for the awards. They are the ones who should be taken to task.
Those in the royal houses who are responsible for finalising the awards list should not just accept recommendations at face value. They should make stringent checks to ensure that those recommended are truly deserving of the awards.
Many candidates are recommended because they are in the good books of the various sports bodies or have friends among the officials or influential individuals. Some of the candidates even ask to be recommended.
I personally know of a sports doctor who was so obsessed with getting a title in front of his name that who went around begging to be recommended. After a few futile attempts, he has proudly added the title ‘Datuk’ to his name.
The prerogative of giving the awards lies with the royal houses but when sports personalities who have done hardly anything for their respective fields are awarded, I find the situation hard to stomach.
Even current athletes are being honoured. Again, it is fine to recognise their contribution and achievements but wouldn't it be better to reward them after they have retired?
Maybe, the parents of these athletes should be recognised for their sacrifices and contribution to producing national heros and heroines.
As for the posthumous awards, they seem so meaningless. The personalities concerned would have greatly appreciated recognition when they were alive, I am sure.
We also have officials getting awards but their contribution to sports cannot hold a candle to that of some more deserving but overlooked individuals - I can rattle off a few names here - who have done this nation proud.
This is not a campaign for the ignored sports personalities but merely an effort to point out that there are some candidates who have been shunted sideways for reasons best known to the associations that know their contributions. For starters, the states should recognise their very own sports personalities.
But awards must not be given for the sake of giving. There must be strict vetting and only sports personalities who have attained the highest level of performance or have competed on the highest platform of their sports should be conferred any award.
This brings to mind the legendary double international cricketer and hockey player, Michael Francis Shepherdson, 85, who passed away on Saturday night and was laid to rest yesterday.
That he was overlooked while he was alive is indeed sad. Giving him a posthumous award would be fine but it would be sad that his contribution was recognised only after he was gone.
There are several others who deserve posthumous awards but I would rather suggest the names of those who are alive and are deserving of recognition.
For starters, there is former national and Selangor football legend, Thanabalan Nadarajah, or better known as N. Thanabalan. He earned 107 international caps from playing for the country from 1960 as a youth international until he retired as a senior player in 1971. 
Thanbalan still holds the record for scoring four goals in Selangor’s 8-1 victory over Penang in the 1968 Malaysia Cup final!
And then, there are members of the 1972 Munich Olympics football team who have not been given any titles. Neither have players from the Moscow 1980 Olympics squad who boycotted the Games.
Five players helped Malaysia qualify for the historical Olympics debut but were not in the final team: goalkeeper Wong Hee Kok, defender Chan Kok Leong, midfielder M. Kalimuthu and strikers Yap Eng Hock and Syed Ahmad certainly warrant some recognition. Datuk Dell Akbar Khan was the sixth player who did not make it to Munich.
Syed Ahmad is best remembered for scoring five goals for Malaysia in the 1971 Olympics qualification matches against Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, which helped Malaysia qualify for the 1972 Munich Olympics. The goals include a hat-trick against Japan and one each against South Korea and Taiwan.
Then, we have other members of the squad, like goalkeepers Wong Kam Fook and Lim Fung Kee, defenders Othman Abdullah and Bahwandi Hiralal and midfielders Zawawi Youssef, Hamzah Hussein and Ibrahim Salleh.
From the Moscow squad, we have Bakri Ibni, Kamaruddin Abdullah, Wan Jamak Hassan, S. Pushpanathan, James Wong, Hassan Sani, Ramli Junit, Zulkifli Hamzah and Abdullah Ali.
Also worthy of mention and an award are 1982 New Delhi Asian Games 100m gold medallist, Rabuan Pit; walker V. Subramaniam; hockey players M. Mahendran, K. Balasingam, Franco D’Cruz, A. Francis, C. Paramalingam and Lawrence van Huizen; golf’s M. Ramayah; cycling’s Shaharuddin Jaffar; cricket’s Rosminizam Abdullah, badminton’s Slyvia Ng; swimming’s Nurul Huda Abdullah; bowling’s Holloway Cheah, Allan Hooi, J.B. Koo, Edward Lim; and the list goes on.

It is a crying shame that so many of these icons are left to remain unsung heroes and heroines.

TONY is a sports
journalist with more than
three decades of experience
and is passionate about
local sports.
He can be reached at
Twitter: @tmariadass​​​


Michael laid to rest / Datuk Goh Ah Chai passes away

The wake service for Datuk Goh Ah Chai will be held at Sungei Besi Nirvana Memorial Center, 1st Floor, Parlour 15 (Orchid Room) starting tonight (19/2/2016) from 7.00pm until 20/2/2016. Funeral service will be held at the same venue on Sunday (21/02/2016) and the cortege will leave for the cremation ceremony at Nirvana Crematorium Shah Alam. For inquiry please contact: Ms Carolynne Yap - Nirvana Service Consultant (012-6249837)

At Michael Shepherdson's funeral service at the Church of Our Lady Fatima in Brickfields yesterday morning.
Pictures by Abdul Razak Ghazali (Malay Mail)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Jazz for all

 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 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.


'Youth festival will be bigger, better'

By Tony Mariadass

World Youth Jazz Festival (WYJF) have been given a tremendous boost as they continue to bring the music to the street for the second consecutive year – this time to Dataran Merdeka.
WYFF which was inaugurated in 2012 and the brainchild of Datuk Nik A Azmi, the chairman and founder, took the festival for the first time for a three day carnival to the streets of Jalan Mesui last year.
Making its inaugural festival at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) in 2012, the festival has met with many challenges to continue, but through the efforts of Nik and his fellow jazz lovers, it has survived to become an
annual event held in the first week of May.

Indeed, Nik known as the “Father of Malaysian Jazz” has worked very hard to keep this international jazz festival for youth which is vibrant, buzzing with energy and excellent jazz by the young generation alive.
And to have secured Dataran Merdeka as the venue for this year’s festival and above the continued support of Kuala Lumpur City Hall, WYJF indeed looks set to become a permanent feature in the Malaysian music calendar.
“Indeed it is a milestone for WYFF having secured Dataran Merdeka as the venue where we expect a bigger crowd,” said Nik.
Azmi also revealed that the prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak himself has endorsed the initiative to have this festival and that this will further enhance jazz music in the country.
“It has been a struggle to last all this while, which included running into debts. But we have done it for the love of jazz and glad that we are making headway finally.
“I have been doing all this because of my passion for jazz. I have been spending time, effort and money and sometimes "begging" for people to help promote Jazz. Sometimes they call me the Jazz Beggar,” quipped Nik.
Nik Azmi with Herbie Hancock was appointed the UNESCO Ambassador for the International Jazz Day (IJD)after it was declared in 2012
WYFF is the product of the by Jazz Community Malaysia (JAZZCOMM) who are also responsible for Jazz Ampang (inception in 2010) which last month held its 55th edition of its event at the Dagang Avenue Food Court, a reasonably affordable eatery in Taman Dagang, Ampang.
“What we have is aa complete Jazz undertaking unseen elsewhere under one roof done by the same people,” said Azmi. 
Azmi details and the line-up for this year’s WYJF will be announced soon.
In the meantime, Azmi has launched another initiative called Jazzonomics.
It is an index created to measure the developed status of a country.
“It is a simple method whereby the developed status of any given country is calculated based on the percentage of the country's population appreciating jazz - the higher the percentage, the more developed the country,” explained Nik.