Selasa, 8 Oktober 2013

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

KARA could be reduced to trio


Nicole's departure is confirmed while Ji-young is still debating whether to quit the K-pop group for her studies.

DESPITE the recent release of the group's fourth studio album Full Bloom, KARA fans received surprising news in the past week when rumours began to surface that member Nicole would be leaving the group.

On Sunday, representatives of KARA's agency DSPmedia finally confirmed that the rumours were true and that Nicole had expressed her intention not to renew her contract with the agency. It added that she would officially end her activities as a member at the beginning of next year. The agency had initially denied the rumours.

"Nicole will be leaving the group after her contract expires in January," a press release from DSPmedia said, adding: "However, the remaining girls will continue to perform at home and abroad without adding new members."

It also went on to state that members Goo Ha-ra, Park Gyu-ri and Han Seung-yeon had all come to an agreement to extend their contracts. The youngest member, Ji-young, however, has yet to make her final decision.

The 19-year-old is reportedly in the process of deciding whether she should continue her career as an entertainer or focus on her studies. The agency claims that her uncertainty over renewal does not reflect her discontent as a member of KARA, nor a desire to join another group.

Despite the possibility of another band mate leaving KARA, representatives of the agency said they had no plans to find any replacement members, meaning that the current five-member group could become a trio from the beginning of next year. – The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

Casey Abrams for stand-alone gig at Penang jazz fest


'American Idol 10' finalist Casey Abrams to play Penang Island Jazz Festival's opening concert.

JAZZ can be young and hip. Bright folk pop to breezy pop jazz can liven things up significantly. The 10th edition of the Penang Island Jazz Festival (PIJF) this Dec 5-8 is pressing ahead with a youthful outlook to complement its diverse music programming over the years.

The addition of a PIJF "opening concert" featuring singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and American Idol 10 finalist Casey Abrams at the Grand Ballroom, The Bayview Beach Resort Gardens, Batu Ferringhi, Penang, on Dec 5 is a refreshing move.

Abrams, 22, who charmed the masses with his quirky persona on American TV and later established his credentials with his pop jazz-inspired self-titled debut (2012), is geared up to attract a crossover crowd at his stand-alone PIJF concert.

His jazzier songs have set him apart from his peers and for sheer musical ability, Abrams is handy with the double bass, piano, guitar and whatever instrument that strikes his fancy. Abrams will be backed by a guitarist and saxophonist. His concert will also feature singer-songwriter Liyana Fizi as the opening act.

Elsewhere, the festival's main jazz-centred nights – the "Jazz By The Beach" stage at Bayview Beach Resort Gardens – will take place on the weekend of Dec 7-8.

The line-up includes Alison Burns and Martin Taylor, The Freddy Cole Quartet, ESKA, Jazzkamikaze, Okan Ersan Quartet, Michael Schiefel & Carsten Daerr, Yoon Jeong Heo's Black String, Vinalog, Hedvig Mollestad Trio, Jazz Connection and Bihzhu. A host of local acts will feature in the fringe programme.

Supporting jazz community activities scheduled during the festival period include workshops, exhibitions, a drum circle, Sunrise @ TSG, After Hours Jazz Jam, Creative Malaysia Fringe Stages and The Island Forum Sessions.

The international jazz industry speakers at the Island Forum Sessions include Ben Mandelson (founding director of WOMEX), Peter Schulze (artistic director of Jazzahead) and Jae Jin In (artistic director of Jarasum International Jazz Festival).

> For more info on the festival schedule and activities, visit Tickets are available now at

Winners at the 13th GCMA


Outstanding Regional Singer

Beijing: Hu Xia

Shanghai: Jacky Xue

Guangzhou: Bibi Chou

Hong Kong: Kay Tse

Taiwan: Will Pan

Singapore: Derrick Hoh

Malaysia: Gin Lee

Malaysian singer Michael Wong is the recipient of the Most Popular Male Artiste Award.

Malaysian singer Michael Wong is the recipient of the Most Popular Male Singer Award.

Most Popular Newcomer

Issac Dang (Malaysia)

Liu Meilin (China)

Qing Xin (China)

Best Dressed

Male: Isaac Dang (Malaysia)

Female: Kay Tse (Hong Kong)

Most Popular Duet

Gillian Chung and Anson Hu – Zai Yi Qi (Hong Kong/China)

Cheryl Lee and Jac Wu – Fen Shou You Li (Malaysia)

Kay Tse and William So – Duk Hang Hap Nui (Hong Kong)

Most Popular Band

Mayday (Taiwan)

Magic Power (Taiwan)

IO Band (Taiwan)

Most Popular Group

S.H.E (Taiwan)

Charismatic Voice

Male: Hu Xia (China)

Female: Kay Tse (Hong Kong)

Most Popular Composing Artiste

Adason Lo (Hong Kong)

Anson Hu (China)

Jac Wu (Malaysia)

William Wei (Taiwan)

G.E.M Tang (Hong Kong)

Wanting Qu (China)

Best Album

Joey Yung – Moment (Hong Kong)

Khalil Fong – Back To Wonderland (Hong Kong)

William Wei – Someone Is Waiting (Taiwan)

Bibi Chou – Unlock (China)

Best Album Producer

Jay Chou - Opus 12 (Taiwan)

Best Stage Performance

Will Pan (Taiwan)

All-Rounder Artiste Of The Year

Gillian Chung (Hong Kong)

Charlene Choi (Hong Kong)

Raymond Lam (Hong Kong)

Media Recommendation

Raymond Lam (Hong Kong)

Best Singer

Male: Gary Chaw (Malaysia)

Female: Penny Tai (Malaysia)

Most Popular Singer

Male: Michael Wong (Malaysia)

Female: Joey Yung (Hong Kong)

For the complete list of winners, visit or

Related story:

Sweet fantasy at the 13th Global Chinese Music Awards


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