Michael Veerapen is a musician, has been at the forefront of the Malaysian jazz scene since the 1970s, one of the foremost jazz musicians in the region, also Musical Director, Composer, Arranger and Educator.
I welcome this festival’s contribution to the Commercial Music Industry. As professional musicians, much of our income is derived from doing commercial music which over time, dampens our creativity.
This is the only festivalthat provides grants for Music works. It enables and allows every one of us to stretch our talents by doing Music projects that challenge us creatively and technically, primarily for the sake of the Art rather than just for purely commercial reasons.
Our government provides grants for Scientific Research, Sports, Businesses, Innovation to name a few. The purpose of these is to stimulate growth and development in those areas.
It is no different for the Arts.
Without grants and other economic stimuli, too much reliance is placed upon the private sector or personal donations to fund worthy artistic talent and projects. Raising funds is no easy matter with CSR projects focusing more on publicity friendly Charity projects.
Hence the development of the Arts in this country is always hampered by the lack of necessary funding.
The KLIAF has an amazing track record in its short history of putting together truly artistic and richly rewarding events for each of its festivals so far.
Though primarily for Kuala Lumpur’s citizenry it is fast gaining for itself an international reputation with its rich international and Malaysian artistic variety and professional organization throughout.
What is even more impressive is how Festival Director Datin Seri Sunita has managed to pack in so much given the meagre funding that has been allocated to this festival. She has a talent for creating something out of nothing! which is a great gift to us.