This month, Esplanade opens Jazz in July+, a ticketed concert series that “takes you on an exploration of jazz that reaches deep into its roots to discover new horizons”.
The event includes performances by Shai Maestro Trio, Alfredo Rodríguez and Pedrito Martinez, the KYOTO JAZZ MASSIVE and more, as well as acts featuring local musicians like Mario Serio with Alexandra Hsieh, Lily Hargrove and Maya Raisha, Moon Socks, Dixieland Youth, Ann-tholo-gie and more.
Free performances will also be held at the Esplanade Concourse and the Outdoor Theatre. Some of the artists will be conducting workshops and talks that are open to all.
A closer look at local Jazz musicians
The Ywenna Jazz Trio is Ywenna Carollin, Jordan Wei and Leonardo Mendoza. Ywenna is a Singapore-based jazz pianist and vocalist. She’s a regular performer in jazz venues and festivals here, in Indonesia where she was born and Malaysia where she grew up. She released her debut album The Naked Soul with her band Tokyo Blue in 2009 and second album Monochrome Rainbow in 2012.
Jordan is a Singaporean pianist born in a family of musicians that includes renowned violinist Goh Soon Tioe, violinist Vivien Goh, composer Tonni Weh and music critic Patricia Goh. Jordan himself has worked with various international stars like Charlie Haden’s Liberation Orchestra, JJ Lin and Wang Lee Hom. He was also the composer and arrangers for JJ Lin’s Timeline World Tour, the TENG Ensemble and The Pipa Quartet.
Leonardo is a session musician, particularly with ethnic wind instruments. He has performed alongside many international artists like Michael Stanton, Mohamed Noor and JJ Lin.
Lily Hargrove is a Singaporean powerhouse singer with a reputation as one of the best pop and contemporary hometown singers. She has sung at various Jazz festivals like Esplanade’s Mosaic Music Festival and Jazz By The Beach. She has also lent her vocals in musicals by Singapore Repertory Theatre and Toy Factory. She’ll be performing with American pianist, Mario Serio.
Comprised of 5 members, Dixieland Youth are a new brass band that will be performing music inspired by the 1920s. Their music ranges from blues to ragtime.
Alexandra Hsieh is a Jazz vocalist and an experienced vocal teacher who has represented Singapore in events held in the Asian Pacific region and performed for dignitaries. She also sings for the City Swing Big Band. At the Esplanade event on 8 July, Alexandra will be performing alongside renowned pianist from New York, Mario Serio, in a refreshed presentation of Tappin’ Nina. Alexandra will sing Nina Simone’s greatest soulful hits like My Baby Just Cares For Me, I Put A Spell On You, Feeling Good and I Love You Porgy.
Moon Socks is a group of four young musicians who will perform favourite classics from The Great American Songbook, including Old Devil Moon and Moody’s Mood for Love. The band was brought together through Mosaic Jazz Fellows 2019; Siti Nur Iman is the vocalist, Zi Wei Lim is the pianist, Ivan Ong is the bassist and Khoo Shen-en is the drummer. They were mentored by professional Jazz musicians, Chok Kerong, Andrew Lim, Soh Wen Ming and Joshua Wan.
Ann-tholo-gie, aka the Ann Gie Quartet, is a quartet made up of pianist Lee Ann Gie, bassist Arthur Adika Wiyono, drummer Yap Ting Wei and saxophone player Sean Hong Wei. At the Esplanade event, they’ll be accompanied by guest vocalist Sarah Chew. Lee Ann Gie was under the tutelage of Chok Kerong, Andrew Lim, Joshua Wan and Dr Tony Makarome at the Esplanade’s Mosaic Jazz Fellows in 2017. You can listen to some of her works on her SoundCloud page.