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The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

Folk music star Bob Dylan makes New York art gallery debut

Posted: 11 May 2014 08:34 PM PDT

The exhibition includes original copies oh the singer's work; a portion of the sales proceeds will go to charity.

Legendary musician Bob Dylan has made his New York art gallery debut with an exhibition of 40 drawings, limited editions and paintings on sale for US$2,500 (RM8,000) to US$400,000 (RM1.28mil) each.

The artwork comes from the "Drawn Blank Series" of sketches done by Dylan between 1989 and 1992, for example of a railroad track, a woman's back, a still life.

Black and white versions of the sketches were first published in the book Drawn Blank in 1994, which won critical acclaim.

The collection of prints, watercolours and acrylic paintings were shown in Germany in 2007, but the New York exhibition will be the first time the drawings are exhibited in the United States.

The exhibition includes several originals, but also limited edition prints. A portion of proceeds will go towards leukaemia, cancer and AIDS research.

It was a museum in Germany that first approached him with the idea of enlarging and adding colour to his sketches. Dylan, who turns 73 on May 24, worked on the paintings for eight months, said Mickey Ross, owner of the Ross Art Group gallery on Madison Avenue in New York.

The same sketch has often been reproduced in different colors, such as the back portrait of a woman wearing a green, pink or blue dress. The titles are simple, without any explanation.

"It is very important to Bob Dylan. He doesn't dictate what the viewers must take away," said Ross. — AFP Relaxnews

It's back: Kuala Lumpur International Jazz & Arts Festival

Posted: 11 May 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Kuala Lumpur's signature jazz festival is all set to take place this weekend.

THE upcoming Kuala Lumpur International Jazz & Arts Festival (KLIJAF) returns to the city for its third instalment this weekend, with an impressive line-up of musicians including the Grammy-nominated pianist John Beasley; Japanese pianist, composer and humanitarian Keiko Matsui; and American jazz fusion outfit Tizer Quartet.

To be held at Universiti Malaya on May 17 and 18, KLIJAF is organised by KL International Jazz Festival and Asia World Events, in collaboration with Universiti Malaya.

However, unlike the previous two festivals, KLIJAF now includes art as part of its attractions. Selected artists have been invited to showcase their works at the exhibition.

"Instead of it being a purely jazz festival, we have re-branded the event to incorporate arts in the name. There are very few festivals in this region, which combine visual art and jazz. We will be presenting artists from various genres with plenty of artwork on sale. We want people to be engaged in both art and music so we'll be having an art-jamming session as well," reveals KLIJAF chairman Maizon Omar.

Japanese pianist Keiko Matsui's music crosses many genres.

Japanese pianist Keiko Matsui's music crosses many genres.

In addition, there will be an art village highlighting works by young and emerging artists. On display and sale will be all kinds of crafts and pottery. The public can also have their portraits drawn here.

There will be more than 60 international and 100 local musicians performing all forms of jazz.

"We have the popular acts and the 'heavy guys'," says Rodin JS Kumar, festival managing director. "It's not true that KLIJAF has been watered down. For example, Keiko Matsui has done lots of genres. You can't categorise her music but she has released more than 20 albums."

Headliner Beasley's music career spans three decades and he has served as music director for countless television and studio shows. Not only has he played (or toured) with some of the jazz giants such as Miles Davies, and Freddie Hubbard, he was also the music composer for TV shows like Fame, Cheers, Family Ties and Star Trek: The Next Gen.

Over the past few years, Tizer Quartet has taken their multi-faceted world fusion vibes around the globe.

Over the past few years, American outfit Tizer Quartet has taken their multi-faceted world fusion vibes around the globe.

The younger generation might recognise Beasley's piano skills on Adele's Skyfall.

LA Times jazz critic Bill Kohlhaasee describes Beasley's music and playing as "a variety of generational influences, incorporating the emphatic chordal clusters of Herbie Hancock, the rhythmic quirkiness of Monk and the lush intelligence of Art Tatum into a highly refined personal voice."

For his solo act at the festival, he will pay tribute to three jazz greats – Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Herbie Hancock.

Matsui became the first Japanese artist to top Billboard's Contemporary Jazz charts for three consecutive weeks with her album Deep Blue (2001).

She released her debut album entitled A Drop Of Water in 1987 and continues to tour the globe, lending her voice to humanitarian organisations such as the United Nations World Food Programme and Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Led by keyboardist/composer Lao Tizer, the Tizer Quartet's music is a modern twist to the 1970s and early 1980s heyday of jazz fusion, when trailblazing ensembles like Return To Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report set the aesthetic standard. Expect an explosive mix of jazz, rock and world beat from this multi-cultural bunch.

Other international acts slated to perform at KLIJAF include guitarist Jeff Kollman, known for his powerful melodic electric guitar playing, fusing elements of jazz harmony into his hybrid melodic hard-rock/funk style; American bebop pianist Kirk Lightsey; bassist Christy Smith, saxophone players Keith Loftis and Patrick Terbrack; David Tughan, who will do a tribute to the great trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker; and drummer Roger Biwandu from France.

Local acts include Rachel Guerzo, Steve Thornton, Ruslan Iman, Jordan Rivers and saxophonist Razak Rahman, who will perform with the Niccolo Faraci Trio and as part of the KL Jazz Project.

Razak, 55, who was a child prodigy, made his first appearance on local television as a 12-year-old, winning the talent contest Bakat TV in 1971. His personalised sound on the tenor saxophone is heavily influenced by Stan Getz.

With a passion to promote jazz and art, Rodin concludes: "There is a huge jazz audience in the country. We want to create an experience. People want to hear good sounds and see how musicians play. Our sound engineers have been brought in from France and the lighting director is from Japan so the audience can expect top quality sound at the KLIJAF."

Kuala Lumpur International Jazz & Arts Festival takes places at Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur on May 17 and 18. For further info, visit or call 03-5637 7742 / 03-5637 1539. Tickets are available at: or via the hotline (03-7880 7999).

Quek Siu Rui: Getting techie with it

Posted: 11 May 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Carousell founder Quek Siu Rui on Capital Breakfast.

THE founder of Carousell, an online lifestyle marketplace, Quek Siu Rui will join Janice Yap and Pamela Chong on the Capital Breakfast on May 15 to talk about the opportunity presented by the digital and mobile world.

Quek was one of the two students awarded the inaugural NUS Global Merit Scholarship in 2007, a recognition to those who demonstrated academic excellence, leadership potential and passion for creativity and innovation.

Becoming an entrepreneur had become his dream after he spent a year at Stanford University and worked at a Silicon Valley video conferencing start-up. Instead of pursuing his honours degree or taking up a job offer at Silicon Valley in California, he chose to form a start-up and develop an idea for the digital flea market called Carousell.

So far, taking the risk has been rewarding for him. Carousell has beaten 40 other ideas to take the top prize in NUS' Startup Weekend competition, an intensive 54-hour crash course in entrepreneurship that brought together teams to develop business ideas.

It is now a well-known mobile application that makes buying and selling second-hand stuff easy.

Capital FM can be heard on 88.9FM in the Klang Valley and 107.6FM in Penang. For more on the station, log on to

Yuna's second full-length album, Nocturnal, sees the talented local singer-songwriter collaborate with Chad Hugo (The Neptunes) and Robin Hannibal (Rhye). The album, which features tracks like Mountains, Lights And Camera and Falling, was recorded in Los Angeles.

Red FM will be giving away the album on the Red Rave with Jeremy (weekdays 10am to 2pm) and the Red Fix with Terry and Azura (weekdays 8pm to midnight). To take part, you need to SMS in when you hear the cue. The fifth SMS through will win the album.

You can also log on to to win the Yuna's Nocturnal. Five lucky listeners who answer three simple questions correctly will win the album all this week.

For more info, tune in to Red FM on 104.9FM in the Klang Valley and 98.9FM in Malacca and Batu Pahat.


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