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State Pulau Pinang

Didit Dinai to perform at Penang World Music Festival

KUCHING: Up-and-coming fusion contemporary band Didit Dinai will do the state proud this April when it is featured at this year’s Penang World Music Festival.

Specialising in modernising local folk and traditional music with their elegant touch of jazz and country elements, the band has been entrusted to fill in the grand finale slot of the festival which takes place from March 30 to April 1.

“Sarawak traditional music has always been one of the main attractions at any music festival. We can’t deny the uniqueness of our local music.
“This explains why Tuku Kame has been very popular worldwide.

“Mixing jazz and country elements in our traditional songs from all local communities here, I am confident that the music of Didit Dinai will be accepted by the Penang crowd at the festival,” manager Humphrey Robert Linggie told The Borneo Post at his office here yesterday.

Admitting that world music contemporary band Tuku Kame had heavily influenced the creative direction of Didit Dinai, he added that the band’s main forte was to feature traditional songs, lullabies and nursery rhymes of the races here such as Ibans, Orang Ulu, Malays, Bidayuhs and others.

Among the songs the band will be performing are its hit singles such as ‘Leleng’ which is a mix of country music, and ‘Puteri Santubong’ which features modern jazz and ‘sape’ music.

Humphrey mentioned that Didit Dinai, formed in 2010 after performing at the Melaka-Unesco World Heritage Music Festival in February last year, was in the midst of producing an album to be released after Gawai.

“The band’s popularity has grown drastically since Melaka.

“In fact, we have been invited to perform at its Unesco music festival again this year.

“From June 6 till 8, the band will perform at the Borneo Gospel Music Festival which features artistes and bands from the Philippines, Indonesia and Peninsular Malaysia.

“In the meantime, we are also applying to perform at the famed Rainforest World Music Festival at Damai in July,” the veteran with 22 years’ experience in cultural performing arts and music continued.

He said Didit Dinai also performed at the Sarawak Gong Festival at the Redeems Centre, Kampung Apar, Bau last November.

Humphrey, who is also House of Performing Arts (Hopa) head of events and operations, manages other artistes including soloist Royston John Kulleh, Mary Camela (May) of Soulstar fame and an alternative band called Adrenaline Band.

Hopa is a non-profit (project-based) organisation, committed to nurturing outstanding and innovative artistes eager to produce something creative and unique in the performing arts industry while introducing the state’s rich cultural heritage.

One of the main objectives of Hopa is to unearth new talents, polishing young amateur musicians to become professional artistes and inculcate the love of traditional music among the youths.

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