A Sound Education: Mosaic 2013 must-sees

By Azim AzmanEvents - 11 December 2012 11:00 AM | Updated 10:13 AM

A Sound Education: Mosaic 2013 must-sees

The annual celebration of world music will once again return to the Esplanade in 2013. The Mosaic Music Festival returns from 8 to 17 March 2013 and as always look forward to a line-up filled with musicians from around the world.

As usual the festival will bring together a whole array of acts that lead the way in their genre. For ten days, the halls of the Esplanade will be filled with an alluring mixture of sounds from every eclectic corner of the globe.

The line-up might elicit head scratches from some of us but that is the beauty of the festival. Attend with an open mind and the eclecticisms might make a fan out of you. We pick acts to catch which will blow your mind with their out of this world performances.


If you’re into world music and afrobeat

Salif Keita (12 March)

Who: Malian born singer whose uses his unique vocals to tell inspirational stories base on his life and his struggles.

Salif Keita – ‘Nyanyama!’

Why you should catch him: Be prepared for a night of soaring vocals and inspirational songs which has made Salif Keita famous the world over. His early life was filled with hardships–having been ostracized by his family for his albinism and then having to flea political unrest later on– but it was his vocal abilities saw him gained global recognition as the ‘The Golden Voice of Africa’.

Tickets: $40, $60, $80


If rocking and headbanging is your kind of thing

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra (15 March)

Who: Nine piece veteran Japanese ska band that has entertained audiences with their infectious songs and beats

‘Pride of Lions’

Why you should catch them: Also known as Skapara or TSPO, their upbeat tunes have left audiences all over the world with the unexplainable need to get up and skank. The line-up of the band has changed over the years but the spirit of good vibe has remained. They will perform their well-loved interpretation of ‘Sesame street’, ‘The Look of love’ and the theme from ‘The Godfather’, all of course imbibed with their ska theme. Their high energy performances will definitely leave you with a grin even the Cheshire cat would be proud of.

Tickets: $40, 60, $80


If you love shimmying to neo-soul

Esperanza Spalding  (13 March)

Who:  Grammy award winning jazz virtuoso, whose skills on the double bass and velvety voice has seen her play for the likes of dignitaries such as President Obama.

‘Black Gold’

Why you should catch her them: Ever wondered how rich and smooth cup of latte would sound like? We don’t know either but we’re sure that the sound of Esperanza Spalding comes close. Her amazing musical ability (she plays the double bass- which just ups her cool factor in our view) makes watching her live something of a privilege. Furthermore, she is able to flawlessly merge different genres such in her songs sets her apart from the pack.  A one night performance by her is a taking a cool trip down soul, funk and jazz avenue all in one magical set.

Cost:$40, $60, $80, $100


If classics are more your thang

Gilbert O’Sullivan (11 March)

Who: Irish crooner whose piano driven melodies have entertained the world since the 70’s.

‘Alone Again’

Why you should catch her: A little something for the golden generation, Ireland’s first pop star will perform on 11 March with his signature piano. Rising to fame in the era of disco and flared trousers, O’Sullivan’s, ‘Nothing Rhymed’ was his first breakout hit but it was hit ballad, ‘Alone again, naturally’ that shot him to international prominence. We are sure that many of you have endured countless butchering of that song by your friends of during your karaoke sessions, come down to listen to a performance by the original.

Cost: $40, $60, $80, $100


For those that want to get funky

Joss Stone (8 March)

Who: Soul sensation whose fierce independent streak has seen her take the road less travelled in her musical career.  


Why you should catch her: 25-year-old singer, song-writer, actress and all round hottie will be sizzling up the Esplanade with her soulful voice. After bursting on the scene with her own soul filled rendition of The White Stripes ‘Fell in love with a girl’, she has taken her own road to musical recognition having eschewed a big record label and she is all the better for it. Having collaborated with the likes of Mick Jagger, AR Rahman and the godfather of soul, the late James Brown, the depth of her talent is without question. You cannot miss this one night performance by the only singer who does Dusty Springfield’s ‘Son of a Preacher Man” any justice- at least according to this writer.

Cost: $40, $60, $80, $100, $120


For jazz-bugs

Mouse on the keys (8 March)

Who: A Tokyo-based jazz trio known for their minimal yet powerful take on jazz.


Why you should catch them: For technically complex and tight music, you cannot go wrong with mouse on keys. The Japanese trio has been known to produce some jazz inspired tracks that have a more than a touch of forward thinking zeal. Expect not only a music performance but also an art exhibition as their performances are accompanied by film projections. If you’re a fan of Soil & ‘Pimp’ Sessions or even German acoustic techno act Brandt Brauer Frick, you cannot miss Mouse on the Keys.

Cost: $30


If you’re looking for something more left-field

Grimes (9 March)

Who: Vancouver-bred electro-pop/dream-pop artist who has commanded everyone’s attention in the world of experimental music with her glitchy beats and mesmeric vocals.

Why you should catch her: For a trip down surreal lane, you cannot go wrong with Grimes. The Canadian draws inspiration for her music from a wide variety of sources, the free spirited culture of Montreal, the pop-punk community which she is a very active member off, to more traditional influences such as TLC, she has credit them all for her current music trajectory. Watching a performance by her is akin to taking a trip to the avant-garde electronic future.

Cost: $40, $48

Mosaic Music Festival 2013 | Date: 8-17 Mar 2013 | Venue: Esplanade – Theatres On The Bay | Tickets available from Sistic