HUMANFOLK had its inception as the musical collaboration and concept band of guitarist-composer, Johnny Alegre with the New York based Fil-Am percussionist, Susie Ibarra and her husband, drummer Roberto Juan Rodriguez, together with the multi-instrumentalist Cynthia Alexander and the electronica exponent, Malek Lopez. This collective is a pioneering effort marking the convergence in a contemporary setting of multiple musical idioms (jazz, rock, electronic music, ethnic Philippine sounds with Iberian and folk music influences). The group’s name is a deliberate conjoining of the words, “human folk”, akin to menfolk and womenfolk, without prejudice to gender, and frequently set in all caps to distinguish it from a dictionary term.

Convened in the summer of 2008, the introduction of Alegre, Ibarra and Rodriguez in Manila spurred a series of musical and social interactions. The impetus culminated in the recording sessions for the “Humanfolk Suite”, a world music cycle composed by Alegre, for which Alexander and Lopez completed the seminal Humanfolk quintet. Towards late 2008, the threesome of Alegre, Alexander and Lopez performed a live semi-improvised score for a short, silent film entitled “Une Femme Andalouse”, which was awarded the KODAK Best 16mm Experimental Film in that year by the Kodak Filmschool Competition.

They were subsequently invited to perform at the Philippine International Jazz & Ethnic Arts Festival in 2009 and subsequent years. A live collaborative performance in 2010 with the Australian didgeridoo virtuoso, William Barton, also introduced vocalist-keyboardist Abby Clutario as a new principal member of the group. These high profile appearances and many others that followed were milestones leading to the release by MCA Music (Universal Music Group) of Humanfolk’s eponymous album in 2011. In 2012, HUMANFOLK was conferred an Awit Award (the Philippine version of the Grammy Award) for the song, “Para Sa Tao” (For The People), as Best World Music Recording by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry.

Months hence, HUMANFOLK members have gone abroad (i.e., Susie and Roberto to New York, Cynthia to Seattle, and Malek to Singapore) thus bringing two of the Manila-based principal members, Johnny Alegre (guitarist-composer) and Abby Clutario (keyboardist-vocalist) to reinvigorate the band with new music as the “New Edition” HUMANFOLK (2013). Supported by members of the “Johnny Alegre Trio” (bassist Rodney Vidanes and drummer Zach Lucero) the group has found an unprecedented recognition from a global audience. In recent months, they have graced the festival circuit such as the Philippine International Jazz Festival (Manila), the Mosaic Music Festival (Singapore) and the Summer Peace Festival (Zamboanga) before enthusiastic audiences. They are similarly honored to perform and share their music for the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival. This is a beautiful time to witness the latest compositions and musical arrangements of HUMANFOLK.

Mia Palencia In Good Company

Mia Palencia In Good Company


Mia Palencia In Good Company is a unique collaboration between two islands. While pursuing her music degree on the Island Of Tasmania, Australia, songstress Mia Palencia, who hails from Malaysian, Borneo, approached Tasmanian Jazz arranger and keyboardist Kelly Ottaway with the idea of forming an ensemble to explore both her original music and improvised jazz. The duo recruited double  bassist Hamish Houston and drummer Liam O’Leary, thus completing the line-up.


Kelly Ottoway

Kelly Ottaway

Kelly Ottaway is a pianist, keyboardist and vibraphonist specializing in Jazz and improvised music. He has been the recipient of two Arts Tasmania Grants and a Musicians Union of Tasmania study scholarship, and won the 2006 Jack Duffy award for outstanding musicians. In 2008, Kelly was a finalist in the 2008 APRA-Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra Big Band Composition Competition.

Kelly’s primary interests are jazz composition/arranging and leading his jazz nonet, Modern Operative. He has performed for more than 10 years with leading Australian artists in jazz, funk and soul. Recent collaboration include work with big band leader, David Theak, jazz singer Kristin Berardi and trombonist Dan Barnett. Kelly holds a bachelor of Music and Graduate Diploma of Music from the Tasmanian Conservatorium  and has a post-graduate qualifications in arranging through Berklee College USA.

Liam O'Leary

Liam O’Leary

At the age of 16, drummer Liam O’Leary burst unto the scene as winner of the Young Jazz Players Award at the Clarence Jazz Festival in 2007. Since then, he regularly features as part of numerous bands, including The Organ Doctors, Billy Whitton & The Swinggin’ Heapcats and the Fiona Stewart Quartet. In 2011, Liam was awarded the Jack Duffy Awards for outstanding musicians. Liam is the private drum tutor at the prestigious Hutchins and St Virgils Jr. Schools. In July 2012, he attended the world-renown Medeski Martin and Wood Jazz Camp in New York, USA to expand his musicianship skills.

Hamish Houston

Hamish Houston

Proficient on both the double and electric bass, Hamish Houston graduated from the Tasmania Conservatorium of Music in 2009. He has since been playing in Tasmania and Melbourne with modern groups such as Joni’s Plastic’s Sunday, Dean Stevenson & the Arco Set and the Rockdrops. He also works closely with orchestras in musical theater. Most recently, Hamish has been involved in the original instrumental jazz group, The Julius Schwing Quartet. The ensemble released their first full length album in 2012, and embarked on a subsequent Australian National tour.


Youtube Link :

Kekko Fornarelli Trio

Kekko Fornarelli Trio


 “Fornarelli is a skilful instrumentalist with classical roots and a subtle improviser’s mind”, John Fordham, The Guardian

“A near-perfect balance of tension and freedom. Fornarelli’s music has a pared-down yet catchy style that draws on his classical roots, with influences from pop to trip-hop to gospel” Alison Gunn, Financial Times 

 “Kekko’s intimacy is made of rich melodies and chord progressions which evoke some delicate forms of modern jazz, but are translated by that particular touch which makes him one of the most interesting young pianists of the moment” Paolo Fresu (trans.)

Kekko Fornarelli (Bari, Italy, 1978) is one of the most widely appreciated artists internationally. A pianist and a composer, he has developed a unique style, characterized by the attempt to create music to observe, more than just to listen to. A way to tell stories, emotions and situations. His music is a mellow combination of modern northern European ideas and neoclassical lyricism, filtered by his warm and extremely personal Mediterranean background. It is the attempt to create a more and more universal vision of music, able to draw jazz out of the narrow circuit of its appreciators and bringing it to the general audience.
Eric Vloeimans, Flavio Boltro, Rosario Giuliani, Francesco Bearzatti, Benjamin Henocq, Jerome Regard, Manhu Roche, Luca Bulgarelli are only some of the artist he has shared ideas, sounds, life experiences and stages with.

The albums
Three albums so far, Circular Thought (2005), that was critically acclaimed as one of the best Italian jazz projects of the year. A French Man in New York (2008), an innovative project taking inspiration from French pianist Michel Petrucciani published during the three years he spent in France.
Room of mirrors, his last album was released in 2011 by Auand sound. After three long years spent contemplating his personal vision of music, this work represents Kekko Fornarelli’s personal revolution and his most mature and reasoned album which places this artist far away from mainstream jazz and its sometimes outdated traditions. An extremely variegated assortment of feelings and emotions can be discerned in the tracks: luxury – simplicity, splendour – naturalness, black –white, piano – forte. A huge success warmly received by audiences and critics, “I can’t stop listening to the CD: a fusion of Romantic classical music, modern jazz and 21st century dance rhythms, played with Italian brio from the heart” (Alison Bentley, London Jazz Blog), Room of mirrors was re-issued less than a year after its initial release, and the downloads over the web are increasing everyday.

His main project is the Kekko Fornarelli Trio. An original interpretation of the most classical jazz formations, this ensemble featuring three Italian jazz virtuosos (Kekko Fornarelli, piano & synth, Giorgio Vendola, double bass, Dario Congedo, drums) embodies Fornarelli idea of a music to observe, more than just to listen to. Recently placed in the TOP 10 most voted Italian jazz formations in the Jazz It Award 2012 competition, the Trio is currently touring worldwide, achieving resounding success everywhere. After 10 minutes, it was evident that this classy threesome had very different stories to tell […]It was resoundingly obvious why this close-knit, thoughtful and viscerally exciting new trio are winning acclaim across Europe”, John Fordham, The Guardian
Then the Piano Solo Monologue, a project constantly developing and changing, which entrusts everything to the intensity of the piano and the potential developments of its classical sound, winking the eye at electronic music too.
Mar endins, the project born from the collaboration with Catalan songwriter Rusó Sala, a charming experimental union of Catalan ethnic song writing, inspired by the traditions of the Mediterranean, on one side and an innovative jazz/electronic on the other is soon to be released. A piano/trumpet project with Dutch Eric Vloeimans and a collaboration with the pianist and songwriter Roberto Cherillo, one of the best voices of the Italian jazz scenario, is also in the works.
Above all Kekko Fornarelli is working on a new album, the second chapter of Room of Mirrors, with even more distortion and unbridled rhythms, to astonish and bring excitement to its audience, which will be published later this year. And of course, not to mention the new gigs as well as more and more international tours to come






Download Room of mirrors






Shanghai Jazz Redefined with Janet Lee

Shanghai Jazz Redefined with Janet Lee


Janet Lee, the Shanghai Jazz go-to-girl in town, celebrates the immortal and beautiful music of the Golden Shanghai in more ways than one – singing the Shi-dai-qu repertoire with verve and great gusto,and chasse all over in her vintage Qi-paos. She has been performing the Shidaiqu repertoire since 2009 and developing her unique brand of Shanghai Jazz with various reputable jazz musicians.

This time round Janet dives further into the vast repertoire of Chinese oldies, she promises a fresh songlist that boasts songs from over five decades. Working with bandleader and founder of jazz band WVC Trio, Tay Cher Siang, they will be playing renditions of songs made popular by Gealan, Yao Shu-Yong, Teresa Teng, Bai Kwang, Zhou Xuan and a few original tunes for Janet’s debut album.

Her Shanghai Jazz repertoire includes tunes from Gealan, Zhou Xuan, Yao Li, Bai Kwang, Bai Hong and more. Janet indulges in this recreation of a golden era of songs with her team of passionate bandleaders from the jazz circuit. They nurse, rehearse and serve up sizzling reworked classic tunes from the old Shanghai, to the delight of their loyal followings of this genre.

Janet created a series of Shanghai Jazz songbook in 2012, taking her songbook that has undergone a snazzy treatment of jazz arrangements to various live joints around Kuala Lumpur. Janet and her bands played to many packed houses, in 2012. The initiative of the tour came to her after having received much positive feedback from fans of Shanghai
Jazz who attended her earlier Shanghai Jazz outings. The audience from Kuala Lumpur was starving for good jazzy revivals of old Shanghai Shidaiqu, Janet and her jazz bands delivered what the music lovers wanted, with class and much passion to show.

The Performers

Janet Lee

Janet started her singing stints in a choir, singing songs from the great American Songbook and popular classical songs with 30 other kids. Now, years departed from her choir line, Janet has grown into a
solo performer with her own unique style of performance and personality.

She has trained with singing teacher Cha Seng Tiang from year 2000 till 2008. Janet currently trains with soprano Cecilia Yap in classical singing. Outside of her Mozart & Rossini songbooks, she is an avid fan of the performing arts. To date, she has sung and performed in stage productions by Dama Orchestra, Saidah Rastam, KLPac, Lyric Opera Malaysia, Actors Studio and PAN Productions.

Off the main stage, she is an active performer at concerts, recitals, cabarets, theatre workshops and more – when she is off work from her now steady stream of bookings by corporate clients and private events.

Since her stints with Dama Orchestra in Butterfly Lovers and later I Have A Date With Spring, Janet has reinvented herself as the songstress for Shidaiqu, the popular golden Shanghai music from 1920s.

WVC Trio + 1

Drawing inspiration from the many facets of modern life, influenced by Malaysian and other Asian cultures, the music of WVC TRiO +1 cuts across many musical genres and defies any kind of classification. Tunes such as “The Art of the Wind Up Alarm Clock”, “Found and Lost”, “Standing in the Rain on Euclid Avenue” tries to examine and express the human condition in modern life, using the artform known as “jazz” as its stylistic musical vehicle.

Formed in 2006 as a trio, WVC TRiO +1 completed its quartet line up with the addition of saxophonist Julian Chan. The group has toured extensively in the region, heralding back the spirit being “on the road” of touring jazz bands of old. Through these regional tours, WVC TRiO +1 has brought its music to many corners of Malaysia, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Macao. In one of these tours, the quartet managed to travel extensively over 18 cities within a month, using different means of transportation, playing in many different types of venues.

WVC TRiO +1 has three instrumental albums – “WVC TRiO” (2008), “ELEVEN” (2009), “In the Dark, I See Her” (2011) – that explored different musical genres (while maintaining the spirit of jazz as its core) and combinations in its line-up. Most of the tunes recorded are original tunes written by the band members. In addition, the band also experiments with transforming unlikely pop tunes, Chinese classics, and many mainstream music into new jazz re-arrangements, in the spirit of the great jazz musicians of old.

WVC TRiO +1 has been invited to appear in many festivals in the region such as Taichung Jazz Festival, Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival, Phuket International Jazz Festival, Tianjin International Jazz Fest, Macao International Jazz Week and many others. In addition, the band has played extensively in the Malaysian local jazz clubs, from No Black Tie, Nero Fico, (the now defunct) Venue, and many others.

The present incarnation of the WVC Trio + 1 consists of bandleader/composer/arranger/music director/pianist Tay Cher Siang, bassist AJ, drummer KJ Wong and saxophonist Julian Chan. The band remains one of the most active units in the Malaysian performance circuit and is one of the most sought after bands in Malaysia for Hi-Fi recordings and live performances.


YouTube Link :

Moscow Fish

Moscow Fish


Moscow Fish covers a wide range of genres and sonic ideas, from acoustic singer-songwriter all the way through to their interpretation of  electronica. They touch on blues, reggae, roots, pop, world, experimental, chill… all the music that has been an influence, and it seems that there are no boundaries around what they consider an influence. They straddle many genres without confusion to produce a sound that is uniquely and undeniably Moscow Fish.

From Canada, they’ve made their home base on a small island (Koh Phangan) in the Gulf of Thailand, between tours, and over the past few years, they’ve been hard at work developing 2 very different shows, an electronic and an acoustic show, both very unique and very versatile. They’ve also been recording a large body of work, as well as producing collaborations with the artists that they’ve met along the way. Always putting a gentle but solid twist on the concept of conventional.
Moscow Fish has been the resident live-mix-live-play band at the Halfmoon festival ongoing since 2009, where they’ve produced a dynamic electronic show centered around live performance. They have also dug deeply into the roots of creating and performing excellent music with the simplicity of 1 or 2 guitars, 1 or 2 voices, 1 or 2 harmonicas, and sometimes 1 or 2 invited guests. They are now working on their 2nd Thailand CD of new acoustic and electronic music, and recording a collaboration with some of Thailand’s celebrated recording artists.

Johnny Alegre Trio

Johnny Alegre Trio


Guitarist-composer Johnny Alegre, jazz journeyman and recording artist from the Philippines. Albums released under Candid Records and MCA Music. His pioneering musical projects, defying barriers of genre, demographics and cultural stereotypes, include AFFINITY that was launched in 2005 amid favorable reviews in England’s mainstream jazz publications and two sold-out engagements in London’s PizzaExpress Jazz Club. Alegre’s was later introduced to a mainstream American jazz audience in Hollywood’s Catalina Bar in 2007 that earned him a favorable notice in the Los Angeles Times. The outing led him to a U.S. trio recording joined by Billy Hart (drums) and Ron McClure (bass), two of America’s living jazz legends. Johnny Alegre thereafter formed HUMANFOLK in 2008, a World-Fusion ensemble that incorporates Alegre’s rich palette of tonal colors. These efforts are officially released on disc and made available as well in iTunes, Amazon, and other online distribution venues.

JA-Trio-at-MosaicThe current “Johnny Alegre Trio” (featuring bassist Rodney Vidanes and drummer Zach Lucero) is a subset of HUMANFOLK, that features a retrospective of Alegre’s considerable body of work. This small group was formed in 2013 and was featured in the Mosaic Music Festival in Singapore (at The Esplanade’s Living Room), the Summer Peace Festival in Zamboanga (Mindanao Island) and in Boracay Island’s “All Out” event sponsored by the Telecom giant, Smart Communications. Johnny Alegre was conferred an Awit Award in 2012 by the Philippine Association of the Recording Industry (PARI); and in 2013 was also conferred the Icon Award by the 8th Philippine International Jazz and Arts Festival for his reinvention and furtherance of Philippine Jazz. The other members of the Trio; bassist Rodney Vidanes, originates from a progressive music background, principally his involvement with the Prog band, Fuseboxx; and drummer Zach Lucero is a multi-awarded musician from the band, Imago.

YouTube Link :

GruAvenue featuring Poova Pachciak

GruAvenue featuring Poova Pachciak


Singer, songwriter and composer Poova is undoubtedly one of Malaysia’s most powerful voice and talented newcomer. Tall, gorgeous, and blessed with a magnificent voice in a deceptively slender frame, Poova is one of Asia’s few yet real soul singers. Currently in the final production stage of her first album “Ticket to Faketown” and already performing original materials from her second album, whilst now writing her third, it’s hard to deny the creativity and technical prowess of this truly amazing artiste.

With a musical style that fuses jazz, soul, blues, rock and electronica, together with an enormous, superb, soulful voice that could power a steam train uphill, there’s no escaping from the magnetic performance of this international songstress. Poova is accompanied by Vincent on bass, Charles on drums, Joel on guitar, and Wei Li on keyboards.

YouTube Link :

Appy Tots



Music have always been in the soul of this fine lad since  the tender age. This versatile singer-songwriter with a heavy influence of soul RnB, blues and jazz will shake up the festival on the 1st night.

In 2012, Malaysian based label, Noisy Lions signed up Appy and worked on his EP release with singles ‘Aku Dan love’ and ‘For You’. He collaborated with Malaysian renowned rapper Jin Hackman and Sabah based rapper Decipher on his EP, titled ‘Happy Thoughts’. The EP was released at the enf of May 2012. from there ‘Aku Dan Love’ was receiving airplays from Hitz KK FM, Suria FM and Era FM KK, whereas ‘ For You’ received airplays from Hitz’fm KK and went to be number 1 on the Borneo English Top 10 In September 2012.

Appy had also worked with  Nadhira, Nera AF, Alvin MY and many more.


Happy Thoughts

Performance Setup

Appy usually performs either of the following:

1. Minus One
2. Acoustic Guitar
3. With accompanying band (full/acoustic)

Past Performance

27 May 2012 – EP Launch Party Party Play Lifestyle Cafe, Lintas, Sabah
30 May 2012 – Harvest Festival 2012, KDCA Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
31 May 2012 • Harvest Festlval 2012, KDCA Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
31 May 2012 – Calsberg Triple Launch @ Ming Garden’s Sparks, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
6 June 2012 – Kota Kinabllu Jazz Festtival 2012 Fringe Event @ Shenanigan’s Fun Pub Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
16 June 2012 – Miss Earth Sabah Coronation Night @ The Magellan Sutera, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
23 June 2012 – Bakat Interact 2012 @ Yayasan Sabah Auditorium, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
4 July 2012 – TwtUpKKOpenMlc @ Party Play Lifestyle Cafe, Lintas, Sabah
7 July 2012 – 7K Run @ Sutera Harbour, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
27 September 2012 – Standard Chartered Annual Dinner @ Pacific Sutera, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
29 September 2012 – Sabah Auto and Food Carnival 20012 @ 1Borneo, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
5 October 2012 – World Animal day Concert @ KDCA, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
28 October 2012 – TwtUpKK @ Party Play Lifestyle Cafe Gaya Street, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

YouTube Link :

Gee Mojina and Elixir



Gee Mojina represents a new generation of talented jazz-influenced female pop vocalists coming into the music scene.
Influenced by jazz legends such as Billie Holiday, Stacey Kent and Norah Jones, the contrast in Gee’s old-school vocal style with her youthful aura gives a breath of fresh air to music listeners wherever she performs.

Her career as a performer started in 2009 as the lead vocalist for Sabahan band, Elixir. Together they have performed at the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival 2011 and was later sponsored by the KKJF to perform at the Penang Island Jazz Festival in December 2011.

Gee begins a new chapter in her musical career in 2013 as she explores her potential as a recording artiste under RAM Production, a recording label owned by acclaimed acoustic fingerstyle guitarist and producer, Roger Wang.

Her first single “A Gorgeous Day” is expected to be released in April 2013.

Elixir was formed in 2008 by Daniel Mojina, who is the bandleader and guitarist, Elixir has had a steady growth every since, especially in the local jazz scene. The present line up includes Gavin Lawrence (Saxophone), Moses De Silva (Bass) and Shaun Harun (Drums).

Instagram link : @jazzygenes