This May, the Jazz Association (Singapore) Limited, also known as JASS, has organized its inaugural Lion City Youth Jazz Festival from 22nd May to 27th May. The festival aims to nurture young talent and develop the skills of aspiring musicians, with the support and mentorship of international jazzlegends.
The festival will feature mentors such as saxophonist and composer Benny Golson (USA), Music Director and pianist Jeremy Monteiro (Singapore), Guest Music Director Fritz K Renold (Switzerland), and members of the Jazz Association of Singapore Youth Orchestra (JassYO!).
Pre-festival rehearsals commenced on 6th May following a selection and audition process to select talented youth aged 18-21 for their place in the orchestra. Rehearsals for the concert begin proper on 20th May when the international mentors arrive, followed by intense rounds of rehearsals from 22nd to 27th May where JassYO! and their mentors will rehearse from 10am to 5pm each day. As part of the festival, there will be a daily Workshop Series led by the mentors at the end of the day; where members of the public are encouraged to sign up and observe these workshops between the mentors and the young musicians to learn more about jazz.
As the first major activity of JASS, the Lion City Youth Jazz Festival will culminate in a public concert at the Victoria Theatre on Saturday 27th May 2017. Together with their mentors, the youths will make musical magic with catchy tunes and toe-tapping arrangements. The audience will be taken on an eclectic musical journey with original compositions and arrangements by Jeremy Monteiro, Fritz K Renold and established Singaporean jazz pianist – Mr. Chok Kerong. The concert will also feature guest vocalists from local jazzartistes, Melissa Tham and Alemay Fernandez.
To ensure the youth receive an authentic learning experience, rehearsals and training will be done in a “Bandstand Learning” style. The youth will get the chance to work together with professional musicians, and rehearse both as a full ensemble and break-out sections, which are a platform for them to learn more about the Bandstand style of performing from their esteemed mentors and role models.
Executive Director of Jazz Association (Singapore) Limited, Prof. Jeremy Monteiro shared, “Through this festival, we hope to broaden the appreciation and support for jazz in Singapore by engaging the youth – who are the future of music in Singapore. We are grateful and honoured to have jazz heavyweights like Benny Golson and Fritz K Renold join us at this festival, to share their years of experience with these young, aspiring talents. With their mentorship, the youth will gain valuable insights and we hope this will further inspire them and spear them on in their musical journey. We also encourage members of the public to join us at the Workshop Series to understand the genre.”