JB Arts Fest is here again!

The Johor Baru Arts Festival is back again in more ways than one.  The annual arts fest is presented for the 13th time in JB and once again, held in the heart of the city!

The 13th JB Arts Fest, the anchor festival under the Johor Baru: International Festival City (JB:IFC) project started in 2015, kicked off on September 21 and is now on for three weeks till October 8. 

There is something for everyone in the free and ticketed events organized across a wide range of disciplines and genres that feature music, dance, theatre, comedy, visual arts, fashion and film.

This year’s Arts Fest is distinctly different as it compels attendees to explore the city’s heritage quarter where over 50 events are held at various venues.  

Events are held mainly at Jalan Dhoby, JalanTan Hiok Nee, Jalan Pahang and Jalan Trus with many attractions happening, not only in the cafés and on the streets but also in its back-lanes!

So if you have never been there, this is an excellent opportunity to discover and experience the nostalgia in retro-fitted, vintage and cool cafes in JB’s heritage quarter.

Check out the unique charm of destinations like EH HE Art Café, Koone, The Replacement – Lodge & Kitchen, Calypso Vintage, Maco Vintage, Bev C, Art 52, Drums Café, Chaiwalla & Co. Container Café, Alicafé Specialty Coffee, Fork & Dagger, Dezert @ 19, IT ROO Café and Roost Repurposed & Recycled café.

This Saturday, Sept 24, head to the carpark next to Chaiwalla & Co. Container Café to experience the NegaRaku Tour, Free of Charge when you flash your Raku app.  There are two shows at 2pm and 8pm that feature acts like Plague of Happiness, monolQue, Tres Empre, Aru & The Republic, Massacre Conspiracy, Artefacts and many more!  [So download Raku now!]

Keyin Tay presents, Sax on the Move
From Sept 24 onwards, the Johor Sketchers will be collecting stories from the people at Jalan Trus, Jalan Pahang, Jalan Dhoby and Jalan Tan Hiok Nee through a “sketch-walk.”  In the Johor Baru Sketchwalk & Postcards for Stories, artists will sketch scenes of the city on location and these stories will be displayed on a Story Map Mural inside the ThinkCITY office on Jalan Pahang.

Between Sept 25 and Oct 1, a pop-up craft workshop and demonstration by Kraftangan Malaysia will be open to the public all day-long at Fork & Dagger café, Jalan Dhoby.

The work of the late Yasmin Ahmad, presented
in Remembering Yasmin
Also from Sept 25, see what artists Adeputra, Akeem Keroncong, Low Shi Jian and Pauline See are doing to create a mural on The Bangsa Johor Wall at Jalan Tan Hiok Nee.

Check out Jalan Dhoby and Jalan Pahang to see how the wall mural project by Fiqqyfresh is taking shape and don’t miss the pop-up park happening in the back-lane of Jalan Pahang!
          
Spot freestyle saxophonist, Keyin Tay, as she performs on the streets and various cafes at Jalan Dhoby and Jalan Tan Hiok Nee.  Tay started playing the saxophone when she joined the Sultan Ibrahim Girls (SIGS) Marching Band in 2001.  Her hard work paid off with various successes in talent competitions and was crowned Female Champion in the “Show Off Talent Search 2015, Season 3.”  Catch her in Sax on the Move that starts at 3pm on Saturday, Oct 1. 

Singer-song writer, Hameer Zawawi
The 13th JB Arts Fest celebrates the life and work of film-maker Yasmin Ahmad, who sought to bring together Malaysians of every gender, ethnicity and persuasion.  Join movie buffs to revisit the stories that prompted us to think and feel what it truly means to be Malaysian.

Remembering Yasmin will happen in Bev C café on Jalan Tan Hiok Nee at 8pm on Oct 1 & 2, the programme includes screenings of Sepet (2004), Gubra (2006) and Muallaf (2008), followed by sharing sessions with Yasmin’s sister, Datin Orked.

On Friday, Oct 7, chill out at Roost Repurposed & Recycled café in a music showcase featuring talents like singer-song writer, Hameer Zawawi (8pm) followed by multiple award-winning singer-song writer, Najwa (8.30pm).  Fans can thrill to a truly up-close and personal experience when these talented artistes perform in a casual café setting.

Angelika Niescier opened the 13th JB
Arts Fest with the first show
The 13th JB Arts Fest opened with a jazz show by the Angelika Niescier Jazz Trio in the ballroom of the DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Baru.  Together with bassist, Matthias Akeo Nowak and drummer, Christoph Hillmann, saxophonist Angelika Niescier performed an interesting and enthralling showcase of her own compositions.

The arts fest rolled onto its second day with blues-based group, Jamie Wilson Trio who rocked the house with their interpretation of familiar jazz, rock, funk and soul favourites.  With Jamie on his Yamaha electric guitar, John Thomas on drums and Andy Peterson on bass guitar, the trio thrilled the audience with skillful improvisations and solo segments.  The showcase was enhanced by vocalist, Evelyn Feroza Fernandez, whose dulcet tones enchanted the appreciative audience way into the night!

The popular comedians from the Malaysian Association of Chinese Comedians (MACC) are back at the JB Arts Fest again, this time with a new show (a spoof of the Star Wars series!) entitled Episode Seven – The Funny Wake Up Liao.  Two ticketed shows at 8.30pm on Sept 28 and 29, will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton JB.

The Jamie Wilson Trio featured Evelyn Feroza Fernandez
Electronic music fans cannot miss Austrian Electronica Duo, HVOB, made up of Anna Muller and Paul Wallner, at 9.30pm on Thursday, Sept 29 at Cache Lounge & Rooftop Bar, at Jalan Ngee Heng.  Local talents, KBnL and Shelhiel, lead in the opening act.

Fashionistas book your seats for Perspective: The Runway, a fashion show at 7pm held in DoubleTree by Hilton JB on Friday, Oct 7.  Joining home-grown designer brands like Bev C and Al-kaftan, are Glancez, Ying the Label, A-Jane, Seraphina S., Undefine, Ellysage, Andy Chan Hair Studio, Unique Expired and Adrian and Erika Tan.

At 10.30pm the same evening, Semalam Di Malaya featuring Ushera, pays tribute to the contemporary Malaysian music scene of pre-independent Malaya in the 1940s and 1950s.

Note:  VVIP [Front row] and VIP [Second row] ticket holders for The Runway have complimentary entry to the next event, Semalam Di Malaya, held in the hotel.

Founder of the Johor Society of the Performing Arts, Yap Siong Cheng, said that the JB:IFC was a natural step forward, following the strong foundations laid by the JB Arts Fest as one of the longest running arts festivals in Malaysia.

“By working with everyone who wants to get involved, such as café owners and local performers, the JB Arts Festival becomes a festival that is truly for the people of JB, by the people of JB,” said Yap.

He stressed on the relevance of the community-based approach taken by collaborating with the various stakeholders in downtown JB and added that, “The people of Johor Baru deserves the right to claim ownership of their own city, and as such, they must be given a say in how their own city’s festival should come into fruition.”

So don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy your own pick from visual to performing arts, handicraft exhibitions and workshops, to talks and forums, brought to you all within walking distance in the heart of JB.  Evening parking at DoubleTree by Hilton JB is a flat rate of RM4 only, so use your Touch 'n Go cash card for your convenience.

Just pick up a copy of the festival booklet or go online to check out the full programme of events at www.jbartsfest.com

Tickets may be bought from ThinkCITY office at No. 8 Jalan Pahang, 80000 Johor Baru or pre-booked by calling Tel: 019 – 7139900.