Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

Britain’s Olympic taekwondo trio in with a fighting chance

Posted by Kimberly on August 1, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
August 1, 2008 (667 words)

None of Britain’s three taekwondo Olympic athletes have ever been knocked out in a tournament, with 25-year-old Sarah Stevenson stating, “that’s why we’re good!”
So good in fact, that Stevenson currently has a tattoo on her left foot to represent each of her two wins as European and world champion.
But that doesn’t mean any of them expect that to remain the case, especially when facing the likes of the United States’ Steven Lopez, two-time Olympic champion.
Stevenson’s quick to add, “anyone can get knocked out. You can make a mistake or they could do something good. I wouldn’t say anything bad about anyone who’d been knocked out,” she admits.
Speaking with the media yesterday at the Westin Resort, Macau, the taekwondo team were joined by their Cuban coach, Nelson Miller and Performance Director Gary Hall, who was quick to applaud the local facilities as being first class.
“We’ve come a long way in terms of preparation,” says Hall, adding that the team’s realistic Olympic expectation was obtaining a medal. Read the rest of this entry »

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There’s a whole lot of trumpet blowing with Chris Botti in town

Posted by Kimberly on June 3, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
June 3, 2008 (676 words)

Chris Botti would rather not consider himself as elevator music. At least, that’s the impression the Portland-born jazz trumpeter gave at an interview yesterday.
“If you’re an instrumentalist, you’re linked back to Kenny G and it’s like ‘ooh’,” he says. Not that there’s anything wrong with Kenny G, adds Botti. After all, the former has managed to create a sound that is instantly recognisable to those familiar with his work, which Botti says he’s achieved as well, to some degree.
“A lot of people think I play the saxophone because we both stand there and blow into an instrument.
“Being asked to get onto TV shows has catapulted us both, but our music is very different,” Botti adds.
Enough about Kenny G. Botti’s last appearance in Asia will be occurring tonight, in the Grand Auditorium of the Macau Cultural Centre, after a tour that has encompassed Singapore, Korea, Japan and Beijing to name a few.
After which, comes the US cities; Washington DC, Nashville and New York. It’s a scenario that’s been played for so long now, that hardly a free moment exists for writing new material, with only two songs from his latest album Italia being written, or co-written, by Botti. Read the rest of this entry »

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Starstruck to light up MGM’s Lion’s Bar

Posted by Kimberly on May 16, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
May 16, 2008 (318 words)

The successful run the MGM GRAND is having with its musicians at the popular Lion’s Bar looks set to continue with the arrival of a new band – Starstruck. It would seem like a tough task to follow the rave reviews earned by the previous act – the Freddie James Project, but after a sneak preview it looks like this good looking group will also be a crowd pleaser in Macau.
Hailing from Los Angeles, Southern California, Starstruck formed in 2001 and has been performing their high-energy and well-choreographed show to the USA casino crowds for a while. This experience will no doubt have prepared them for their 6 week stint in Macau.
The group is fronted by female vocalists and dancers, Vivien Lesiak and Kimberly Hoey and  male vocalist/dancer, Lance Jones. This talented trio is backed by an equally talented 4-piece rhythm section.
The band has performed in many of California’s casinos including Pala, Pechanga, Morongo, The Spa of Palm Springs, Barona, and San Manuel. Most recently, Starstruck has performed on the Las Vegas Strip with a three month run at the Aladdin Hotel and Casino. From elegant corporate events to rockin’ it out at some of America’s finest nightclubs and casino’s, the MGM is no doubt counting on Starstruck to continue to deliver the highly entertaining performances the Lion’s Bar crowd has grown accustomed to. audiences around the world with their fiery brand of musicianship and live performances.
Like the diverse music style that Hollywood is famous for, Starstruck’s performances are a celebration of rock, soul, disco, alternative music and many other genres. Starstruck promises to take it’s audience on an interactive journey through the last three decades of music and with the energy they have shown in their first few performances, they are guaranteed to keep the crowds on the dance floor
Starstruck will perform nightly at the MGM GRAND’s Lion’s Bar until June 29.

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Canon launches into Macau market with local showroom

Posted by Kimberly on April 21, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
April 21, 2008 (665 words)

Canon may have only recently set up office in Macau but they’ve already made inroads into the printing business, having provided a local supplier with printing facilities for those hotels that have the joined the Newspapers Direct scheme.
Those unfamiliar with the scheme, of which the Venetian and Sands hotels are said to belong to, it allows hotel guests to read their favourite newspapers at the same time as they are published in their own part of the world.
“For example, you can have the newspaper at the same time as they come out in Australia. Which can then be printed with local suppliers, one of our customers using a Canon colour printer,” said Raymond Fung, Vice President of Canon’s Business Imaging Solution Group.
Newspaper Direct currently supplies something like 650 newspapers from 77 different countries and in 37 languages, according to their website.
“It comes out as something like an A3 sized newspaper.
“Of course there would be some sort of customisation because of the layout,” said Mr Fung, who added that a team in Hong Kong edits the titles to ensure readability.
“This is a way that we can provide an alternative for the traditional business,” he said, suggesting that Canon had just shipped the printers “and I understand they [Venetian and Sands] are now printing.”
It’s just one of the areas in which Canon is seeking a foothold locally, and hoping to take some business away from their nearest competitors, Fuji-Xerox. Read the rest of this entry »

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Projecting a sense of fun onto the Lion’s Bar scene

Posted by Kimberly on April 18, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
April 18, 2008 (543 words)

Lately, it’s been a little difficult to ignore the reputation that MGM’s Lion’s Bar has managed to amass in what appears to be a very short period of time, all good of course. And while that had plenty to do with their first act “HB Wild,” the latest addition to Macau’s happening night-life, in the form of The Freddie James Project, has taken it to another level.
Also hailing from Canada, specifically, Montreal, the six-member group consists of Freddie himself (vocals), Alan Springer, lead guitar; Anthony Cooperwood, keyboards; Ben Vezina, drum; James Challenger, bass and Katie McNally, vocals/backing vocals, who will perform at the Lion’s Bar until May 12.
Asked about the reason behind the name, Freddie responds by suggesting it’s a project “and we’re never satisfied.
“We’re always in the works, new clothes, new steps, new songs and always in motion.
“I don’t think we’ll ever stop and say we’re done otherwise the band is finished,” he adds.
Those that have yet to get themselves over to Lion’s Bar have been missing out on the energy and rhythm the group exudes, with music ranging from  Motown, R&B, Hip Hop and Soul and pretty much anything goes.
That means George Benson, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Bob Marley or even AC/DC, with Freddie adding “we don’t stay in one style. Read the rest of this entry »

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