Three nights of top-notch jazz performed by nine bands from Singapore and the region
Singapore International Festival of Arts celebrates International Jazz Day! Celebrated globally on 30 April annually, the UNESCO-designated day spotlights the musical genre’s power to unite cultures and promote diversity.
For three nights the Play Den at the Festival House will be converted into a cosy jazz club, featuring performances by some of Singapore’s most beloved jazz musicians, as well as friends from the neighbouring scenes.
Jazz at Play I
The Suitcase (9 - 10pm)
The Suitcase is a crew of three individuals— Euntaek Kim (piano), Jase Sng (bass) and Aaron James Lee (drums) — who draw their inspiration from jazz and neo-soul heroes that include Brad Mehldau and Erykah Badu. Often described as some of the most creative and talented musicians in their generation, this trio will present a rare showcase of their original music, along with tunes by artistes who have creatively influenced them over the years.
Alemay Fernandez (10.15 - 11.15pm)
Homegrown powerhouse Alemay Fernandez has a reputation for wowing audiences with her unmistakeable onstage charm and flawless vocals, and has performed internationally including with prominent musicians like David Foster and Laura Fygi. An opportunity to catch "one of the country's smoothest voices" as she performs her own songs. Joining Alemay this evening is Oliver von Essen (organ) and Darryl Ervin (drums).
Chok Kerong Organ Trio (11.30pm - 12.30am)
One of the finest in Singapore, composer and musician Chok Kerong’s current working band with guitarist Andrew Lim and drummer Soh Wen Ming produces music that reflects a deep dedication to swing, the blues, and an aesthetic that favours authenticity above all. In 2016, the trio became the first Singaporean ensemble to perform at the renowned Tokyo Jazz Festival and last year, released their second album, “Tales They Told Me” to a sold-out house at Esplande Recital Studio.
Jazz at Play II
WVC Malaysian Jazz Ensemble (8 - 9pm)
A sought-after jazz band on the Malaysian performance circuit, instrumental quartet WVC draws its inspiration from modern life in Asia. Its music, while cutting across musical genres, is stylistically inspired by jazz music. Formed in 2006 as a trio, WVC has toured extensively in the region performing an eclectic repertoire that ranges from original pieces to re-arrangements of Chinese classics.
WVC Malaysian Jazz Ensemble is music director and pianists Tay Cher Siang, bassist AJ, drummer KJ Wong and saxophonist Julian Chan.
Deixa is an exciting new collaboration between Tamil Rogeon (violin), Doug de Vries (7- string guitar) and Ben Vanderwal (drums)!
Led by the incomparable Doug de Vries, Deixa explores choro, an instrumental Brazilian popular music genre that originated in Rio de Janeiro. The trio will be performing their own fascinating takes on music by the greats such as Pixinguinha, Jacob du Bandolin and Hermeto Pascoal.
Alina Ramirez and Mario Lopez Latin Jazz Quartet (10.30 - 11.30pm)
Singapore-based Mexican duo Alina Ramirez and Mario Lopez perform original compositions in this lively show steeped in Latin American music traditions. Formally trained in Western classical music and contemporary music styles including jazz, Ramirez, a pianist and composer, and Lopez, a bassist, guitarist, composer and arranger, both grew up with traditional Latin music and are frequent performers at Latin music festivals in Singapore. They are joined by Mexican musicians Moy Olivera on timbales and drums, and vocalist Josse Manuel.
Jazz at Play III
A Hue Liberal with Aya Sekine (8-9pm)
Known for pushing creative boundaries, Singapore-based Japanese jazz pianist Aya Sekine has for the past few years been experimenting with how to liberate herself from within and without the jazz music she lives and breathes. Her solo performance today will showcase the results from this self-discovery. Aside from original compositions, Sekine will also perform interpretations of both popular and obscure jazz pieces, and jazz improvisations. Joining her as guest is Brandon Wong on bass.
Rani Singam and Andrew Lim (9:15 -10.15pm)
Dubbed Singapore’s “first lady of jazz”, Rani Singam is a highly sought-after and accomplished vocalist with an inimitable performance style while guitarist Andrew Lim has for 17 years been an integral part of the jazz scene in Singapore and abroad. This will be an evocative performance from two kindred spirits who share a passion for jazz and blues.
Christy’s Communication Artists (10:30 - 11:30pm)
Internationally recognized educator, composer and bassist Christy Smith rounds up Jazz at Play on a high note, performing a largely original music set with his expressive quintet that features daughter and vocalist Zora Smith, pianist Tan Weixiang, drummer and percussionist Aaron James Lee, and saxophonist Sean Hong Wei. Based in Singapore for 25 years, Smith has worked and performed with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Sarah Vaughn, Fela Kuti, Billy Higgins, and Ernie Watts, just to name a few. He also holds court at performances by the region’s top artists including Jeremy Monteiro and Sheila Majid.
28 Apr (Sat): 9pm
29 Apr (Sun): 8pm
30 Apr (Mon): 8pm
3h 30mins, with two 15mins breaks in between the sets
*Limited concessions available for students, NSFs and seniors