George Town Literary Festival > Performers
A. Samad Said (Pak Samad) was born in Singapore in 1932. His first job was at Singapore General Hospital, but six months later he moved to Kuala Lumpur to work for the newspaper Fikiran Rakyat. He then joined Berita Harian, a national daily and became its editor and was also made special assistant to the group editor of the Straits Times Group. Samad left the Straits Times in 1987, and since then has been a full-time writer. He is renowned for his poetry, novels, short stories, essays and plays. His major works include Salina, Hujan Pagi, Cinta Fansuri, Al-Amin, Warkah Eropah and Lantai T. Pinkie. His most recent anthology of essays is Ilham di Tepi Tasik. He received the Southeast (S.E.A) Asia Write Award in 1979 and in 1986 was accorded the Anugerah Sasterawan Negara (National Literary Award), Malaysia’s leading literary honour. He was the co-chairperson of Bersih 2.0.
A. Samad Said is supported by Penang Institute.
The guitarist-composer-educator Az Samad graduated from and taught at the Berklee College of Music, USA, as well as completing a Masters in Music (Jazz Studies) from San Jose State University. A versatile musician, he has recorded with Grammy winners Flaco Jiménez and Max Baca; performed in the United States, Europe and in many Asian countries; and appeared on 22 albums ranging in style from Tex-Mex and contemporary jazz to solo acoustic guitar. He has also appeared as a soloist with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. His works have been described as ‘richly textured, poetic and atmospheric’. Previously based in Berkeley, California, Az now lives in Kuala Lumpur. In addition to performing and teaching, he also records, writes music for short films and mentors aspiring musicians. As a writer, Az was a columnist with The Star for the column ‘Beats & Bytes’.
Az Samad is supported by Penang Institute.
Aida Redza is trained in ballet, modern dance and traditional Malay dance. She was educated at Universiti Sains Malaysia, the University of North Carolina, USA and Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, the Netherlands. She has performed professionally with the People’s Association Dance Company in Singapore and the John Gamble Dance Theater and Jan Van Dyke Dance Group in the United States. She has performed as a dancer and worked as a choreographer and teacher, to critical acclaim, in many countries, including Australia, Britain, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Thailand and Singapore. Aida’s repertoire of works and performances comprises numerous collaborative choreographies for multidimensional dance and theatre performances, including Moved by Padi (2016), Cross Waves and Moving Jetties (2015), Bridges and Kaki Lima (2013) and River Meets Light (2011). She is the founder of Euphoria Penang, a vehicle for training young dancers.
Aida Redza is supported by Gerakbudaya Bookshop.
Cecil Rajendra is a lawyer by profession but a poet by compulsion. Despite being in active legal practice, notably in human rights cases, he has published over 20 collections of poetry and written a highly acclaimed biography of Asia's striptease queen Rose Chan, No Bed of Roses (2013). His poems have been published in over 50 countries and been translated into several languages. A collection of poems to celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of his first book – Personal & Profane – was published in 2015. And his new collection – Shakti Symphony: Love Lyrics – came out earlier this year. Cecil Rajendra has received multiple awards for his poetry and human rights work, including a Malaysian Lifetime Humanitarian Award in 2004 and a Danish International Visiting Artist award in 2011. In 2015 he was declared a Living Heritage Treasure by Penang Heritage Trust.
Cecil Rajendra is supported by Gerakbudaya Bookshop.
Lee Su-Feh was born and raised in Malaysia and lives in Vancouver. In 1985, she left Malaysia for Paris, where she lived for two years and was influenced by the late Lari Leong. Since arriving in Vancouver in 1988, she has created a body of work that interrogates the contemporary body as a site of intersecting and displaced histories and habits. As Artistic Director of Battery Opera Performance, she has worked both alone and in collaboration with other artists. Recently, she was part of Migrant Bodies, a two-year Canada-EU choreographic project ruminating on migration and its implications on European and Canadian societies. Out of this project, she created a solo The Things I Carry, which she is now continuing to develop and perform. Some of her other current projects involve making dance machines, and developing as a Fitzmaurice Voicework teacher.
Lee Su-Feh is supported by Battery Opera.
Yasunari Rajendra holds a degree in fashion design from Middlesex University, United Kingdom. But his real interests lie in exploring the natural universe through various creative disciplines. He has produced music albums, films and documentaries, fabricated didgeridoos, created murals, and designed posters and book covers for Malaysian and international publishers. He has collaborated in multi-arts productions with cultural icons such as the photographer Ismail Hashim and dancer/choreographer Aida Redza. Some of his film work has appeared in productions for the Discovery Channel and 20th Century Fox. As a senior partner of Friends of Artistes Liaison he has also organised and participated in several musical events and is currently with the Kim Haus group.
Yasunari Rajendra is supported by Gerakbudaya Bookshop.