Published on: Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Well, turn up today (January 9) at 7.30pm sharp at Wisma Wanita, Jalan Tuaran, for their one-and-a-half hour concert, in collaboration with local bamboo orchestra - Kinabalu Merdu and Rhythm of Borneo - another local percussion group, said Roger Wang, President of Society for the Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu Sabah (SPArKs).
See and hear live what wonder music the banjo, the Ukulele and the fiddle can produce alone.
And in combination at the hands of three top specialists in American Root - country music, folk music and western - two-time Grammy Award winners, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, and Barbara Lamb - a fiddle champion many times over.
Designed to further the cause of international mutual understanding through the American Abroad Programme, the American Embassy wouldn't give an all out full sponsorship to anything less than Grammy level artistic quality - the highest award and recognition from peers and the music industry in the US, although Cathy says it's "a gift" and a "great honour."
The trio arrived KK fresh from a rousing reception and performances in Chengdu and Kunming, China, Tuesday, and wowed a slew of local journalists with a fabulous peek preview at a press conference at Sri Peloncongan Sabah.
Barbara Lamb, who has been playing the fiddle for as long as she's been alive, gladly obliged to a request to play an absorbing theme song from Fiddler On The Roof.
A lot of people around the world like the unique sonic properties of the sound of a banjo which is like no other music instrument in the world.
Here she is - a chance to see Cathy Fink, a virtuoso five-strong banjo player in the Appalachian clawhammer style, a multi-instrumentalist and a versatile singer as well.
Marcy Marxer, a rare female Django Reinhardt guatarist, is rated a string wizard who has created a string of signature instruments - the Marcy marxer Model Gold Tone Cello-Banjo and the Marcy Marxer Kala Tenor Ukulele she called "an incredible social instrument," in addition to the Marcy Marxer model Martin Guitar.
So music buffs in Sabah - know the stuff that you are listening to and watching!
The show is free of charge but because hall capacity is limited to about 400-500, free passes can be collected at RMA Production Sdn Bhd, 1st Floor, Block A, Damai Point, or call 088-218395 for reservation.
The trio also conducted a banjo, ukulele and guitar instrument workshop at Kian Kok Middle School at 7pm on Tuesday for about 40-50 local musicians, including the Sabah Ukulle Club, as part of the stated objective to share and learn from each other.
All three said they were visiting Sabah for the first time.
Asked if they knew Sabah or Borneo better, all three said they have heard little or none about Sabah but were aware of Borneo a lot more.
Backed by Sri Peloncongan, their concert in Kota Kinabalu is organised by SPArKs but the US Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and the US Embassy fully sponsor their KK trip and thereafter, Kuala Lumpur.
Two years ago, the Johnny Rogers performed in Kota Kinabalu under the same programme.