Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Jazz Nights at SIFA

Glad to have been invited out to lovely jazz nights at Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA). Admittedly, jazz music isn’t quite my thing. I hold little appreciation for the genre, and my enjoyment mostly comes from a limited understanding and narrow preferences of the style of the bands or the musicians.

While I’m happy to check out unknown-to-me bands, I’m glad to hear those whose styles I enjoy. I like hearing them in such a setting of a concert venue emulating a relaxed jazz club. I don’t fancy having to go to an actual jazz club and having to schmooze and suffer fools in order to hear these musicians. These musicians at SIFA are familiar faces in the local jazz scene.

Totally enjoyed Alina Ramirez and Mario Lopez's Latin Jazz Quartet. The quartet was the final bill of the night, and I was struggling to keep my eyes open. But I stayed, and didn't regret it. They were really good. They were joined by guitarist and vocalist Carlos Sendros, and on drums and timbales, Moy Olivera. Lots of bossa nova, samba, bomba in a set tinged with Mexican and Cuban folk music.

Aya Sekine.
Aya Sekine presented 'A Hue Liberal', playing her pieces and interpretation of two jazz standards. 😍 I'm a bit of fangirl. Heh. For many years, I've enjoyed her playing, and her sounds. I don't often get to catch her playing live though. Tonight, Brandon Wong joined her on the bass.

She spoke about the reasons and inspiration behind her compositions and how she does her improvisations for each piece, for example 'Every Day Life'. She also shared memories from her hometown in Osaka in a song title I forgot. ('Something something and the Rose Garden'.)

Not all the bands had vocalists. The curators did a great mix, and also invited the jazz singers to take centerstage. Tonight, the vocals began with Rani Singam. I love Rani Singam's crystal clear voice and was so happy to see her listed for the night, along with Andrew Lim on guitars. Rani sang songs from her album 'Contentment', and the opening track in the album, 'Happily Ever After' was really fun. She has ONE single on AppleMusic- 'My Muse'.

Loved it that the musicians mostly trotted out original pieces at this SIFA series of performances. That was unexpected, and I definitely liked that much better than hear them do their versions of covers. I really wanted to buy their CDs. But I don’t own a CD player! I'm not going to ask friends to help me rip the songs into a digital format. They’re not on AppleMusic or bandcamp, but they're usually on Spotify. I can’t even buy digital copies. 😐 Zzzzzz. I suppose I’ll stick to buying tickets to their concerts whenever possible.

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