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Thursday September 26, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday September 26, 2013 MYT 8:36:44 AM
by revathi murugappan
Elvira Arul displayed an impressive range of vocals and an array of emotions that came out in each song.
The fourth DFP Seni Festival concluded last weekend with a jazz treat.
AFTER an eventful week of music and multicultural showcases, the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) Seni Festival concluded last weekend with a different spin: a jazz treat for the masses.
In its fourth year now, the festival serves as a platform for local artistes to display their talents as the fest seeks to promote, nurture and strengthen the Malaysian arts and culture scene.
The public got a sampler of everything. From asli singing by Datuk Andre Goh to a mak yong performance, classical Malay repertoire and a rock concert, the week-long DFP Seni Fest 2013 culminated with the MPO And All That Jazz, featuring the MPO Jazz Orchestra and vocalists Dina Nadzir, Atilia Haron and Elvira Arul.
The trio, making their debut at the DFP, are established singers in their own right. While Atilia and Elvira are known as jazz singers in the local club circuit, Dina is also an actress and radio presenter, who has spread her wings in musical theatre. These ladies had the talent to burn.
The night started off with Dina singing Itulah Sayang and Tudung Periuk, an old Malay number. No, it wasn’t jazzy, but she knew how to keep a flow going. She mostly paid tribute to the music of yesterday. Her version of When I Fall In Love was so different that I could hardly recognise the arrangement.
She would’ve been perfect as Nikki Bronsky in Hairspray. The talented lass, who shot to stardom after emerging first Malaysian Idol runner-up in 2004, was funny, and witty. Under the spotlight, Dina sang with passion and her voice possessed power as she continued with Tak Rela. She ended her set with a tinge of sadness. Out came a medley of Obsesiku and Pergi Untuk Kembali.
After Dina’s upbeat personality and funny asides at jazz conductor Marques Young, Atilia proved to be a milder personality in comparison. While she lacked Dina’s vibrancy, her voice was beautiful, smooth and went well with her gracious personality. Her audience interaction was limited as she concentrated on singing her songs, which included Sangkar, Old Love, Imagine, Breathless and Harus Bagaimana. Atilia’s songs were sweet, melodious and at times, melancholic.
While Dina and Atilia had their strengths, the night truly belonged to the sassy Elvira. Her ability to switch from smooth jazz to a range of blues, funk and soul was remarkable. When she opened with the Malay classic Getaran Jiwa, the audience were hooked.
Elvira, who was the opening act for Alicia Keys (2004) and Laura Fygi (2012) concerts here, had all the goods to hold her own concert and she showed us why. From Your Voice to Simple Love, the woman displayed an impressive vocal range and exuded an array of emotions that come out in each song.
And at certain junctures, she’d narrate a personal story about how the song came into fruition. In Simple Love, written when she was going through a “not-so-interesting” period in her life, she got the audience to sing along. Obviously, as her first single released in 2009, she continues to be passionate about the song.
Her rendition of Etta James’s I’d Rather Be Blind was simply amazing. She captured the anguish of a dejected woman and the betrayal of a loved one with such fervour, it provided a hair-raising experience for the audience. Several people actually gave her a standing ovation after the song.
At the start, she cheekily quipped: “I might be angry after this song!”
She concluded her set with a delightful medley of Georgy Porgy and Diggin’ On James Brown. We clearly wanted more of Elvira but she sashayed off stage.
The trio then came back onstage and sang Buka Pintu (Dina and Atilia), Asmara and Bunyi Gitar. Their voices blended well as they twisted and wriggled their hips on stage. The audience went home delighted that we truly have some local megastars in the making.
It can only get better.
Tags / Keywords:
Entertainment, jazz, Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, DFP, Seni Fest, Atilia Haron, Dina Nadzir, Elvira Arul
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