Monday, May 25, 2009

Prelude - Jeremy's Swing - 29 / 30 May 09

Its been quite a while that I featured another profile on a local musician. Here's the latest personal write up on international renowned jazz Singaporean pianist Jeremy Monteiro and his upcoming concert after interviewing him with my co-interviewer Wen Hui in his cosy office "SHOWTIME PRODUCTIONS". We want to thank him and Gaylin for allowing us to interview him. We sure had a lot of fun and laughter interacting with this great musician. Enjoy!!!

Written by Tan Wen Hui Joyce and edited by AJ Chen Weijie

I, Jeremy Monteiro & My Stages of Success

As a boy, Jeremy Monteiro has a tough decision to make - either to become a pilot or a pianist. Spoilt between these two fantastic choices of a dream career, the former SJI boy could not decide for himself which path to take till the very day he learnt that he has to wear glasses. This dashed his dreams of becoming a pilot.

Then on, he sought to focus hard on becoming a professional pianist, which eventually became his true vocation. Meanwhile luck too, helps boost his success as an international pianist.

Back in 1988, Jeremy and his band, Monteiro, Young & Holt, were invited to perform at the Monterux Jazz Festival by its director Claude Nobs, who was instantly spell-bounded by the quality and type of music produced by the trio which was aired at the Saxophone club.

Speaking of her personal account of the 1988 Festival, Nobs called the concert "an unforgettable concert of the 1st in 22 years of Montreux."

That year, Jeremy was labeled as "one of the best exponents of Jazz Piano" by Switzerland's Swing Magazine. A humble man by nature, Jeremy does not mind sharing his many years of expertise with other aspiring young musicians for he believes that opportunities for learning/sharing are hard to come, especially from what he fervently calls "the right person" who would inspire them to progress on further in this field.

He spoke in great amazement: "When I look back at my earlier career, I realized that some of the opportunities I had were very unique, they won't appear for somebody else."

"I wish that same luck I had upon all young musicians...that's why I'm very open to sharing my knowledge and don't feel at all threatened and sometimes showing my trade secrets to people, physically."

His Tips on Composition

Ever since his 1st international performance on the Monterux spotlight, Jeremy has been busy making international headlines with his unique compositions of jazz music.

An all-rounder, he is also well-versed with other instruments like the drums, crafts fine tunes of enjoyable music and at times, sings while he plays onstage.

His words on composing original music: "I have no specific plan to follow through when it comes to composing a song. How long I take to compose a song also depends because it can also be in real time. Songs are..."there", already flying around in the air. The composer acts as a fine-tune antenna able to be quiet and still long enough to be receptive of music."

His Latest Album Release

Jeremy also actively seeks to promote the importance of nationalism through his musical pieces.

In his latest album release titled "Singapore Swing" in conjunction with the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts (MICA), Jeremy hopes to unify Singaporeans as one people by giving a savvy, tasteful twist to our country's national songs which would transcend cultural and language boundaries.

As MICA's director of the National Resilience Division, Dr Menon observed: "Singapore songs are an important component of nationhood - our heritage & our identity - and evoke a sense of nostalgia with many Singaporeans."

Through this project, Jeremy hopes to create more bonds and build little bridges for Singaporeans to come together, united as a whole.

His Upcoming Concert Highlights Together With T'ang Quartet

Currently, Jeremy is preparing for an upcoming collaboration with T'ang Quartet on the 29 & 30th May @ The Esplanade.

He spoke with great enthusiasm: "It's a coming together of jazz musicians, jazz bands and classical musicians. The whole concert is a novel idea,...and definitely has not been done in Singapore before."

The End

That's all... .For more details on the concert, u can click

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