Guitarist-composer-educator Az Samad has been making waves in the Malaysian music scene ever since he relocated back to Kuala Lumpur last year after spending 6.5 years in the US of A.
As we end this year, WAMM selects Az’s top 5 moments of 2012:
1. Philippines International Jazz Festival 2012
Pix by Dudee Alfonso
Az was invited to Makati for the Philippines International Jazz Festival 2012 where he performed at various stages and even conducted a workshop. He documented his very first trip to the Philippines in this 7-part Vlog.
2. Europe 2012 Tour with Tara Linda & The Tortilla Western Trio
Az embarked on his first European tour with California-based Tara Linda & The Tortilla Western Trio performing in the Folk Segovia Festival, Spain & a 3-night residency at Töpferei Niehenke, Hasbergen, Germany. The Amsterdam Recordings – his first solo electric fingerstyle guitar album was recorded during the tour.
3. Open Mic @ The Venue series
Az has always had a thing for open mics. “So, when I was aproached to host an open mic session myself, I was elated. It’s always been something I thought of doing but never really got to do up till now,” he tells us. The most recent Open Mic @ The Venue saw a looooong queue forming way before the official sign-ups began, so that’s just an indication of how popular Az’s Open Mic has become. You can view the videos at WAMM’s music section.
4. Guitar Soloist for Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy
Az performed with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra as the classical guitar soloist on two pieces: Dear Friends (Final Fantasy V) and Vamo’ Alla Flamenco (Final Fantasy IX). Very much a dream come true for this video game kid. And yes, that’s Grammy Award-winning conductor, Arnie Roth!
5. The Malaysian Music Project
Pix by Wong Horng Yih
And to end the year with a Malaysian bang, Az embarked on The Malaysian Music Project together with Cheryl Tan where they had the chance to reinterpret and explore classics by P.Ramlee, Sheila Majid and Sudirman to modern favorites such as OAG, Yuna and Mia Palencia.
What’s up for Az in 2013?
Looking ahead to 2013, Az together with 15 songwriters will be performing at The Songwriters’ Showcase on 12 January.
This promises to be an epic start for 2013 with 16 Malaysian Songwriters coming together in one concert. You won’t want to miss it, remember to get your tickets now!