KUCHING: The Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) 2012, to be held from July 13 to 15, at the Sarawak Cultural Village will feature Sarawak's very own Zee Avi performing on its opening night.
State Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg recently said this would be the new approach for RWMF 2012 where local talents, globally known, would be promoted.
He said the Sarawak Tourism Board would slowly build up the festive mood from May onwards by staging performances by local arts schools and dance academy students at the Tourism Complex, Museum Garden and Kuching Waterfront.
"We want to provide an opportunity for our local performing arts students to pursue their career in music, apart from making Kuching a city of music," said Abang Johari.
As a festival which has been recognised as the top 25 best international festivals by Songlines, a renowned world music magazine, RWMF will continue to improve by inviting world music performers.
To date, 13 bands, made up of musicians from various countries, have confirmed their attendance.
These bands include Le Trio Joubran of Palestine; the Khusugtun of Mongolia; Raiz De Cafezal, a group of Brazillian Amazonian Indians; Oreka Tx, a Basque band from Spain; La Zikabilo of France; and the String Sisters, comprising fiddlers from Scandinavian countries, Scotland, Ireland and the United States.
Apart from Zee Avi, other Malaysian musicians who have been invited to perform include Samuel Dass and Prakash, Diplomats of Drum and Rhythm of Borneo, who are from Sarawak.
Daily tickets priced at RM110 for adults and RM55 for children aged 3 to 12 are now available online.
Three-day passes for adults costing RM300 and RM150 for children are also available.
About 30,000 people are expected at this unique gathering of music with an estimated spin-off of RM37 million to the local economy.