New York drummer Danny Mallon in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah with the Johnny Rodgers Band for the KK Jazz Festival

Danny Mallon: To make it in the U.S., you need to find your true voice

Danny said, “Who’s really made it big in the States, from here? Zee Avi. Why? Because she’s Zee Avi, and there isn’t another one! She’s true to herself, with her own quirky sound, and people here picked up on that.”

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5th Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival 2011: Day 1. A Dream Come True

Guitarist Safri played a simple haunting melody. Singer DAYANG NORAINI walked on stage, and their voices entwined in a duet of long, spiritual notes which hung in the night air, clear and hypnotic. Shimmering cymbals lifted their song like a magic carpet, carrying it across the harbour out to sea like a Sabahan prayer. I was honoured to hear it…