Fund honouring late blues-rock veteran Jim Madasamy aims to assist Malaysian musicians

The Malaysian Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister has also hinted at a wider government effort to support the music and arts industry

A fund celebrating the legacy of Malaysian bluesman Jim Madasamy has been launched.

The founding member of Blues Gang, a seminal Malaysian rock band from the 1970s, passed away in 2018 at the age of 68. Yesterday (August 11), the Jim Madasamy Artistes’ Fund was officially established to assist Malaysian musicians in need of financial aid.

Majlis Pelancaran Album dan Tabung Jim MadasamyYB Dato' Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri, Menteri Pelancongan, Seni dan Budaya…

Posted by Kementerian Pelancongan, Seni dan Budaya Malaysia on Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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Paying tribute to the musician that night was Malaysian Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri, who, in a separate press conference, has hinted at a wider government effort to support the music and arts industry.

“We are discussing our respective scopes from time to time,” the minister says in a report by The Star. “There are still some gray areas which have not been identified.”

The event was also centered around the release of Madasamy’s final album, written and produced with his former Blues Gang bandmates a decade before his death. The album is notable for being recorded entirely in Tamil.

A portion of the RM100,000 (US$23,817) fund has been awarded to 10 musicians, along with Madasamy’s widow Soo Leak Meng. Paying tribute to the musician that night were two ministers who count themselves as long-time fans.

National Unity Minister Halimah Mohamed Sadique spoke about the significance of Madasamy’s late-career work. “One of his dreams prior to his passing in 2018 was to record a blues album in Tamil as part of his legacy,” she said, according to Free Malaysia Today. “I hope this effort will inspire people to appreciate the peace and harmony in our country.”

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