Borneo Jazz Festival 2019 – All You Need To Know

This year marks the 14th year that the Borneo Jazz Festival is being held in Miri, Sarawak, and is also the second time that the event is taking place at Coco Cabana by the Esplanade.
The Borneo Jazz Festival is one of Malaysia’s pioneer jazz festivals that has seen over hundreds of jazz musicians from all over the world perform here in Miri.
Borneo Jazz 2019 also takes place from 19th to 21st July, which will see numerous local and international artist take stage for the 14th year. 
Borneo Jazz Festival 2019 – All You Need To Know

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Zainal Abidin performing at Borneo Jazz 2018

Once known as the Miri International Jazz Festival, the festival brand had evolved to capture the name Borneo Jazz Festival as it provided a more international name and feel to it. 

This festival has and still is the brainchild of the Sarawak Tourism Board, where in 2018, it was outsourced to local Malaysian jazz club called No Black Tie, and this is the second year that they are doing it here at Coco Cabana in Miri. 
2019 also sew the Sarawak Tourism Board launch the “Three Festivals One Destination” campaign, where three notable music festivals will be held back-to-back from 5th to 21st July, and from south to north Sarawak.

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The scene at last years Borneo Jazz Festival.

The music festivals involved are the Rainforest Fringe Festival and The Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching, and finally the Borneo Jazz Festival here in Miri. 

The plan was to coincide all three festivals to happen around the same time, where visitors into Sarawak can possibly attend all festivals during their visit here.

Previously, the music festivals were held months apart, where Borneo Jazz was in May, and the Rainforest World Music Festival was in July or August.

What is the Objective of the Borneo Jazz Festival?

With any music festival or event, there is always an objective behind it, and you may be wondering what the objective for this jazz festival is.

It is an ongoing mission to continue to promote music tourism for Sarawak and to collaborate with the local communities.

This is to showcase Borneo through its vibrant people, exotic cuisine and wide array of indigenous arts and crafts.

For any first timer to Sarawak, you will be pleased to know that this land is not your typical commercial tourism destination, but something that you would least expect.

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One of the performers during the last Borneo Jazz Festival in Miri.

Who is the Organiser or Owner for Borneo Jazz Festival? 

The Sarawak Tourism Board has always been the creator and owner of the jazz festival till this very day. It has been part of their portfolio in promoting Sarawak using music festivals as an avenue for people to visit.

Since 2018, the Sarawak Tourism Board had leased out this project to a well known jazz club in Kuala Lumpur called No Black Tie. They have been successfully been running their jazz shows in the capital for many years.

Therefore, from 2018, No Black Tie has been the organiser for the Borneo Jazz Festival, which is still being held in the resort city of Miri. 

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Some of the local and international performers at Borneo Jazz Festival 2019.

Who is Performing at the Borneo Jazz Festival 2019? 

As usual, there will be a creative mix of jazz performers and artist for the Borneo Jazz Festival in Miri, and for this year, the performers list is;
  • Alberto Marsico Trio from Italy
  • Chande Rule from USA
  • Clinton Chua from Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Fox Capture Plan from Japan
  • Ireson from Mexico
  • Kirk Lightsey Trio from USA/Malaysia
  • NJWA from Malaysia
  • Pete Kallang from Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Robo Jupiter from USA
  • Arabyrd from Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Asyraf Hardy from Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Benzooloo from Sabah, Malaysia
  • Zed Peace from Brunei

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Coco Cabana, the official venue for Borneo Jazz Festival 2019.

Where is the Borneo Jazz Festival Held? 

The event is being held at Coco Cabana at Marina Bay in Miri City, Sarawak. This is an event space that is by the famous Miri Seahorse Lighthouse, and is home to many other events. 
The venue was chosen last year as a new venue for Borneo Jazz, and this time it is by the seaside with not obstructions.

The structure where the jazz festival is held is a traditional wooden structure, that can house up to 500 people. Majority of the design was hand carved wood, where specialist were brought in to do.

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A glimpse inside of Coco Cabana.

Coco Cabana is also minutes from the heart of Miri City, making it easy access for anyone who is visiting for the jazz festival. There are numerous hotels, restaurants, cafes and other shops located in the vicinity of the area. 

Previously from 2006 to 2017, the Borneo Jazz Festival was always held at the ParkCity Everly Hotel, which is about 10 minutes drive from Miri City.

Only in 2018, the official venue was moved to the new place, which is Coco Cabana at Marina Bay Miri.

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Ticket prices for Borneo Jazz 2019.

Where To Buy Tickets To Borneo Jazz Festival? 

You can buy tickets from the official Borneo Jazz website[1], or at the door of the event. However, when you buy early, you will be entitled to an early booking discount. 
Ticket prices vary from one day tickets to the full three day ticket passes. This means that if you are a jazz lover, it is recommended you take the three day ticket pass which is much cheaper.

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AirAsia is one of the airlines that have multiple daily flights into Miri City.

How To Go To Borneo Jazz Festival 2019? 

There are a few ways, depending on where you are coming from. For locals or expatriates in the area, you may be coming in via road, and those out of Borneo will have to fly in. 
Flying into Miri – If you are coming into Sarawak, you will have to fly direct into Miri City. There are numerous direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Miri, so if you are from another country, you will connect via Kuala Lumpur. Airlines include AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines. 
Driving to Miri – If you are living in Brunei or Sabah, your best option would be to drive into Miri as it ill only take you no longer than two hours one way. Those from Bandar Seri Begawan or Kota Kinabalu can do so, and best to leave much earlier to avoid the immigration lines.

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The location of Coco Cabana in Miri.

Where is Coco Cabana? 

Coco Cabana is located at Miri Marina Bay, and at the end of Jalan Bandaraya. It is a event venue and function space, which caters to many other events in Miri.

The overall structure is a massive wooden architecture building, which is the main venue for the Borneo Jazz Festival. Surrounding the area, there is a night bazaar, restaurants and even a bistro.

The famous Miri Seahorse Lighthouse is located here as well, and is a highly popular location to catch the beautiful Miri sunsets.

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One of the split villa units at Eastwood Valley Golf and Country Club in Miri.

Where To Stay In Miri? 

There are many hotels, resorts or even budget accommodations found all over Miri, and this provides many options for visitors coming to attend the Borneo Jazz Festival.

It all depends on how you plan to travel, and as a couple, group or family. Most of the hotels are located in the main city area, making it easy yo get to the venue.

But again, if you are traveling with elderly people, I would recommend you take a taxi or Grab to the venue from the city, as it will cost around RM3 to RM5 one way.

For places to stay in Miri, I am recommending the following places;

Pullman Hotel Miri Waterfront – This is one of the nicer international hotels in Miri and suitable for both business and leisure. Book a room at the Pullman Hotel Miri.[2]

Miri Marriott Resort and Spa – This is a five star resort, which is considered quite close to the venue, and suitable for those who want some luxury. Book a room at the Miri Marriott Resort[3].

The Roosevelt Studio – A practical and nice budget hotel, which is the closest accommodation to the Borneo Jazz Festival at Coco Cabana. Book a room at The Roosevelt Studio.[4]

Meritz Hotel – Located in a shopping mall, and convenient for just about anyone. Single, couples of family travellers. Book a room at the Meritz Hotel.[5] 

Amigo Hotel – This one is a budget style hotel in a shop lot area, which is very close to Coco Cabana. If you are not fussy, this would be a great place with convenience. Book a room at Amigo Hotel.[6] 

Miri City Homestay – This one is super budget friendly, simple, and suitable for the budget travellers. It is located quite near to the venue as well. Book a room at the Miri City Homestay.[7] 

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A sit down jazz session during the festival. 

Borneo Jazz Festival 2019
Date: 19th to 21st July, 2019
Venue: Coco Cabana, Marina Bay, Miri, Sarawak
Website: Borneo Jazz Festival[8]

*For full detailed information, I recommend visiting the official website of the Borneo Jazz Festival above, as they have the artist breakdown, and many other valuable information. 

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An actual sunset taken at Coco Cabana in Miri. 


If you have heard about the Borneo Jazz Festival, and want to experience this, then you should start planning ahead for your flights, accommodation and tickets. 
This festival is unlike other music festivals, as it showcases a unique side of jazz, and is not your typical concert style event. 
I hope that you make it to the Borneo Jazz Festival 2019, and that this article has come in handy for you. If you have questions, please ask in the comment form below and see you there. 


  1. ^ Borneo Jazz website (
  2. ^ Book a room at the Pullman Hotel Miri. (
  3. ^ Book a room at the Miri Marriott Resort (
  4. ^ Book a room at The Roosevelt Studio. (
  5. ^ Book a room at the Meritz Hotel. (
  6. ^ Book a room at Amigo Hotel. (
  7. ^ Book a room at the Miri City Homestay. (
  8. ^ Borneo Jazz Festival (
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