Maya Hanum and Mireia Frutos Fernandez were on centre stage at The Dome, Meru Valley Resort on Saturday evening, September 10. Organised by the Ipoh Fine Arts Society, “A Night of Jazz, Soul and Rock & Roll” was held for the benefit of the women’s wing of the haemophilia society of Malaysia.
Originally from Ipoh, Maya is now a makeup artist based in Kuala Lumpur. Besides doing make-up, she sings and acts too. Some of the events in which she had performed included the finals of Miss Malaysia Indian Global 2015 and the press conference of KLIFW (Kuala Lumpur Indie Fashion Week 2016).
“I’ve always liked performing for people ever since I was little. When we had guests in the house, I wouldn’t shut up. I guess that’s how singing came into play,” said Maya.
Mireia was born in Madrid, Spain and is now a freelance musician in Kuala Lumpur. She did her bachelor’s degree in the Aragon Conservatory of Music, Spain and her Masters of Music in Piano Performance at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary.
“I started playing the piano when I was eight, I just liked it and I haven’t stopped since. Music itself is an inspiration to me, as each time I play the piano, I grow along with it and that’s the best part,” exclaimed Mireia.
They met and performed recently at a joint project between Malaysia and Spain, where they brought Flamenco Music to Kuala Lumpur in a production called “Humano Flamenco”.
“When we met we clicked so well. Mireia plays the piano so beautifully and that impresses me,” said Maya.
“A Night of Jazz, Soul and Rock & Roll” was divided into two intervals. The whole show lasted an hour and thirty minutes. Songs by Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand and even contemporary ones like “Take Me to Church” by Hozier were some of the tunes that were played and sung impeccably.
The crowd was transfixed by the duo’s exquisite performance and while they feasted their eyes and ears, lucky draws were held in between. Dinner was served before the show began.
“The best part about playing the piano is I get to travel and perform at the same time. And as I perform, I get the opportunity to learn about the different beliefs and cultures. Now I’d like to learn a Malaysian traditional instrument,” expressed Mireia.
“I am filled with emotions. I felt excited, nervous and happy to perform in my hometown. It was a heartwarming experience for us both,” Maya enthused.