The 18th edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival will be celebrated at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Damai on the weekend of August 7 to 9 2015.

Kuching, (Sarawak) Malaysia

The world-class music festival returns to the rainforest of Mount Santubong, featuring entrancing music and performances by world music celebrities. At night, the rainforest vibrates with ethnica and tribal music from talented artists from around the world. In the afternoons, workshops and jam sessions. Day through night, the Rainforest World Music Festival is lined up to create a harmony that brings unison for world music enthusiasts and professionals.


Kuching: On the Music Circuit among the World’s Top Music Festivals

The festival has attracted music lovers from across the globe for their annual music pilgrimage to Sarawak to enjoy the weekend of ethnic and traditional music in the midst of a lush tropical rainforest.

Acknowledging the festival due to its unique appeal, it is again voted among the 2015 top 25 international music festivals for six consecutive year by “Songlines”, a renowned world music magazine based in the United Kingdom.

This international Malaysian home-grown event organized by the Sarawak Tourism Board, is considered to be one of its kind in the region with its uniqueness that brings together on the same stage renowned international musicians indigenous musicians from the interiors of the mythical island of Borneo.


Mother Nature and Music

The festival found its unique home at the “Sarawak’s living Museum”, below the imposing shadow of mystical Mount Santubong in the midst of a virgin rainforest and stretching its edge to the South China Sea. It’s located next to the Damai Beach Resort.

The strong kinship and brotherhood among music makers, enthusiast and lovers alike in celebration together with Mother Nature and in the midst the intricate ecosystem that celebrates the diversity of life.



Rainforest World Music Festival 2015compass-divider

This year, the festival will kick off at  2.00 pm in the afternoon with concurrent musical workshops featuring various ethnic and unique musical instruments. Following that, the two tree stages come alive at 7.00 pm in the evening, as festival-goers interact with the musicians to experience the music and dance presentation.

Apart from the music, there will also be a delectable selection of food at the Food and Village Mart. The village mart also features arts and craft outlets set against the setting of the Borneon native Orang Ulu and Iban longhouses.

Festival tickets and updates are now available online or from the ticketing agents listed at

The event is supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia and Ministry of Tourism Sarawak and endorsed by Tourism Malaysia with Malaysia Airlines and Rip Curl Malaysia as partners.



Bands playing at the Rainforest World Music Festival 2015


1DRUM.ORG (Malaysia) is a wonderful celebration of rhythm and spontaneous percussive beats; where everyone, young and old are invited to participate in a musical experience that is second to none. 1Drum Circle is a great way to meet like-minded people and an opportunity to reconnect with your inner rhythm. Drums will be provided for 100 pax per session.


ALAVERDI (Georgia)

The four-piece ensemble Alaverdi from Georgia has specialized in the traditional Georgian folk music and church chants which are hailed as one of the most unique musical traditions around the world. Performing on the most traditional folk instruments, such as string, wind and percussion instruments, the band brings back the original sound of Georgian music and creates a mystical atmosphere.


BARGOU 08 (Tunisia)

The band BARGOU 08 from Tunisia brings back the almost forgotten music of a region in the north west of the country which is isolated between the mountains and the Algerian border. Their music is the gateway to old Tunisian traditions and stories which are embedded in the lyrics, the melody and the dance.


CULTURE SHOT a.k.a LA LA LI LA TAM PONG (Penang, Malaysia)

This six-headed band from Penang, Malaysia, combines different musical traditions and instruments into a multiracial music style based on old Hokkien music. Using instruments such as Er-hu, Lang Tin Tang, Rebana, Gongs and a Gendang, they mix sounds from different regions and create a new sound representing the diversity of their country.



The talented artist from Agadir, Morocco, mixes Arabic music with classical Western music and has not only worked with various famous musicians from all over the world such as Montserrat Figueiras or Omar Bashir, but also composed music for shows and films such as “La Source Des Femmes”. In 2013 Driss El Maloumi released his album “Makan” which he recorded in a trio with two percussionists Said El Maloumi and Lahoucine Baquir.



Epi is a Mongolian Moorin Hoor (Horsefiddle), a traditional Mongolian instrument, player who grew up in the countryside and is therefore deeply rooted into the traditional and nomadic way of life that his people live in Mongolia. He studied the Moorin Hoor at the Music-Conservatorium of Ulaanbaatar and has performed all over the world and also on TV to bring back the awareness towards Mongolian traditional music.


HARUBEE (Maldives)

Harubee is 16 young men exploding with energy. Boduberu music evolved from the 11th century, brought in from the sailors traveling from parts of Africa. It is the relief found in dance for the common people. The songs are about everyday life, often heavy with satire. The drumming and dancing are frenetic, crescendo-ing into immense passionate climaxes.


RWMF2015 KapelaM



Kapela Maliszów is a family band of three members, led by the multi-instrumentalist Jan Malisz and inspired by the traditional music of Beskid Niski and Pogorze in South Poland. Their instruments have been played by family members since the early 20th century and they have won a variety of prizes playing folk songs and dance music from Gorlice County using their traditional instruments (violin, basolia and drum).



The yangqin or the hammered dulcimer of China originally came from Persia, and it’s characterized for its bright tones yet extreme expressive range. Ken Wy is a master at this instrument and has established a Music & Arts Academy in Kuching. He brings an impressive ensemble of yangqins and percussion to the festival playing a range of traditional Chinese songs.


KOBAGI KECAK (Indonesia)

The sixteen headed band Komunitas Badan Gila was formed in 2008 in Bali, Indonesia and has developed a special performance style they call Angga Suara Murti, which is a mixture between Balinese masked dance, puppetry, the processional ensemble balaganjur and contemporary music. Kobagi combines the western body percussion with Balinese music using their own bodies as primary instruments accompanied by stamping tubes made of bamboo.


KOBO TOWN (Trinidad/Tobago)

Kobo Town was founded by the Trinidadian Drew Gonsalves, who spent half of his childhood in Canada and was inspired by Calypso music from early age and consists of a few Trini expats from Toronto and some of Gonsalves’ old band members. Since feeling a strong boundary towards his home country Trinidad, he has developed a unique calypso style inspired by Jazz, Funk and Disco music as well as other elements which he performs with his band to bring back the old sounds of Caribbean music.



The Spanish band Korrontzi has specialised in traditional Basque music merging with music styles from different cultures and countries such as Flamenco, Fandango, Portugese fado, arin-arin, Italian sounds and others. They have reached no. 6 in the “European World Music Charts” and have gained international fame.

Mathew Ngau

LAN E TUYANG (Sarawak, Malaysia)

Lead by Mathew Ngau, the master sape player and story teller, this band has been touring Europe several times in the last couple of years. Mathew Ngau Jau, leader of Lan E Tuyang, has been playing the sape or the boat shaped lute of Sarawak since he was little. This is music of the Kenyah from the Orang Ulu tribe in Sarawak – the lonely strains of the boat lute with the dances of the warriors.



This Australian band performs the music and language of the Cajuns which traditionally comes from southern Louisiana and is a popular dance music with French influence.


LINDIGO (Reunion Island)

The band members of Lindigo from Reunion Island have always felt passionate about the traditional Maloya music and dance, characterized by complicated percussion rhythms. Their lyrics tell Reunion’s symbolic stories of complex sentiments and personal experiences which the band spreads by performing all over the world.

 RWMF2015 Ndima

NDIMA (Congo Brazzaville)

NDIMA is a group consisting of members of the pygmies aka, a tribe in the forests of Republic of Congo which still lives in its traditional way in the forest and whose culture is endangered nowadays. Their traditional music is an important cultural heritage for the pygmies aka, as it is played every day to accompany certain rituals. To remain their culture and to create an awareness for it, Ndima perform in countries all over the world letting their audience experience the magic of this spiritual music.


SANGPUY (Taiwan)

This musician from an old tribe in Taiwan sings songs from ancient ceremonies dedicated to gods of the natural world.



In Borneo, among the Orang Ulu people, Sayu Ateng means “welcome”. Sayu Ateng, an eight piece band, cuts a cool swathe with a little bit of contemporary pop sound textures and World Beat Music while never straying far from its principal roots of Sarawak. Taking ancient and modern sounds and fusing them with their own infectious character, the original sound and lyrics are based on the historical make-up of Sarawak.



Shooglenifty from Scotland combine traditional sounds of their homeland with devilish rhythms and an international flavour. 

RWMF2015 SonDM


This trio from Mexico has specialised in interpreting and composing a traditional genre of Southern Mexico called Son Jarocho and is hailed as top band in its genre.


SONA JOBARTEH (Gambia/United Kingdom)

This woman has broken through the traditions in her patriarchic environment and is the first female Kora virtuoso to come from a West African Griot family. The Kora is an African harp which is traditionally only allowed to be played by male members of these families wherefore Sona is an exceptional talent being trained in Europe and performing with many famous artists.


UKANDANZ (France/Ethiopia)

uKanDanZ plays an unique style. It’s an unusual meeting between an electric quartet from France and Asnake Guebreye’s terrific voice. This charismatic lead singer originates from the vibrant music scene in Addis Abeba. With impertinence, they rock it wildly. Their music is inspired by traditional and popular Ethiopian songs. uKanDanZ is a blast of real energy and emotion. Ethiopia meets rock, jazz, and noise…


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Booking Period: Now – 9 Aug 2015 | Travel Period: Now – 31 Aug 2015