One of Singapore's breakout jazz acts, The Steve McQueens, will be part of the headlining acts at the 2015 Singapore Jazz Festival (Sing Jazz).
Singer-songwriter Charlie Lim, jazz pianist Wei Xiang, as well as Singapore jazz icon Jeremy Monteiro will also perform shows at the festival.
To be held at Marina Bay Sands from 5 to 8 March 2015, the second edition of the event will feature two stages – Main Stage at Event Plaza and Singha Stage at the Marina Bay Link.
The public will be able to enjoy the entertainment at the Singha Stage for free, while the Main Stage is ticketed.
'Masterpiece' by Jessie J
The festival will also feature international headliners including British singer Jessie J, Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti, British acid jazz act Incognito, 10-time Grammy Award winner Bobby McFerrin, and Britain's most celebrated and influential jazz artiste, Courtney Pine.
More acts will be announced in January 2015.
“We want to make the festival more accessible”, said Sing Jazz co-founder and artistic director David Lyndon Smith.
“All pop music is inspired by jazz. With popular artistes like Jessie J, we hope to bring in a new demographic to the festival. By having a cross-section of artistes from different genres, people will get a better experience,” he added.
WEALTH OF TALENT
Apart from giving jazz fans here a reason to cheer, the festival also aims to create more awareness for the music genre, with LaSalle College Of The Arts as a festival partner.
Like its 2014 edition, the festival will have workshops and masterclasses for budding and upcoming jazz artistes and musicians.
“We have a wealth of young talent here, so there will be another jazz academy next year as we want to further build on our successes in 2014,” Smith said.
This year, Incognito frontman Jean-Paul Maunick, better known as Bluey, conducted workshops which led The Steve McQueens to record an album with him in London.
'Dreaming' by The Steve McQueens
“We are excited to be part of the festival again,” said The Steve McQueens’ lead singer Eugenia Yip.
“To be able to be in that moment where you get to listen to Bluey's experience and feedback on our album is a very liberating process,” Yip added.
She revealed that the band is writing new material, which they will perform during 2015's festival.
BUILDING A JAZZ ECOSYSTEM
All these tie in to festival co-founder Michael Tay’s ambition to turn Singapore into a jazz hub for Asia through the festival.
“We want to build an ecosystem for jazz music here and hopefully, in time we will establish Singapore as the epicentre for jazz in the region,” Tay said.
“Jazz represents what needs to develop in the Singapore soul. Because jazz is completely unstructured and spontaneous. It is a form of art that depends on improvisation and creativity. I think that’s what every Singaporean should move towards.”
Singapore Jazz Festival 2015 | Date: 5-8 March 2015 | Time: 6pm-11.30pm (Main Stage), 11am-5pm (Singha Stage) | Venue: Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue | Admission: $125-$255 from Marina Bay Sands website