PROFESSOR JEREMY MONTEIRO
Dubbed "Singapore's King of Swing," Cultural Medallion recipient Jeremy Monteiro has garnered critical acclaim all over the world since helping to put Singapore in the world history of jazz in 1988, when he became the first Southeast Asian to play and lead a band of established international jazz musicians on the main stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival, performing as "Monteiro, Young & Holt and Friends."
He started his career in 1976 at a local hotel and then as a pianist & bandleader at the famed BClub 392 jazz club in Singapore in 1977 where many artists such as Nancy Wilson have performed. 2021 marks the 45th year of his career.
Jeremy has performed and/ or recorded with the likes of James Moody, Benny Golson, Michael Brecker, Bobby McFerrin, Randy Brecker, Lee Ritenour, Herbie Mann, Paulinho DaCosta, Ernie Watts, Charlie Haden, Terumasa Hiro, Carmen Bradford, Matt Monro, Toots Thielemans and Simon & Garfunkel, to name a few. He has also played on the main stages of the EFG London Jazz Festival and is the only Southeast Asian jazz musician to have had an album released on the iconic Verve record label, "Jeremy Monteiro & Alberto Marsico - Jazz-Blues Brothers."
Jeremy has also released 10 albums in as many years, including "Brazilian Dreams," "Montage," "With a Little Help from My Friends," and "Yesterday Once More - A Jazz Tribute to The Carpenters," with an album launch concert in September 2018. In September 2019, he released "Jeremy Monteiro and Friends: Overjoyed - A Jazz Tribute to the Music of Stevie Wonder."
His latest album, "Live at No Black Tie - Kuala Lumpur" with bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Lewis Nash, is his 45th jazz album as leader. The album has reached the Top 20 of the Jazzweek Charts, the most respected jazz charts in the United States. He has also played on more than 300 pop albums in the Asia region and receive the Silver Medal for Best Music Score in 1991 at the International Radio Festival of New York for his Classical-Folk Piece Overture in C Major - the Story of Singapore.
Jeremy is also a writer, with a volume of essays titled "Jeremy Monteiro: Late-Night Thoughts of a Jazz Musician," published by Marshall Cavendish in September 2018. The book received two literary awards from the Golden Door Awards in 2020, a 3rd Prize in the main category and a Bronze Medal in the Rex Karmaveer category for integrity in writing.
Since 2012, he has served as the International Arts Ambassador for EFG Bank, headquartered in Switzerland and sponsor of one of the most prominent jazz festivals in the world, the EFG London Jazz Festival. In addition, he is a Fellow fo the London College of Music and the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in the UK, and Visiting Professor of the University of West London.
Jeremy received the pinnacle award in the arts in Singapore in 2002, the Cultural Medallion.
He is also a co-founder of the Composers & Authors Society of Singapore Limited (COMPASS), an organisation responsible for the protection of music copyrights in Singapore, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
In 2016, together with a few jazz-supporter friends, he established the Jazz Association (Singapore) (JASS), to bring jazz to people in all parts of Singapore, help raise its level of excellence, especially in the area of youth development and work towards making Singapore a leading jazz city of the world.
Today, Jeremy continues to bring jazz to all corners of Singapore, and Singapore jazz to countries all around the world with his musician friends and with the JASS orchestras.
ASSOCIATE MUSIC DIRECTOR
Weixiang ("Wei") is one of the young lions of the Singapore jazz scene. A latecomer to jazz, Wei started piano studies at 15, and jazz at 21 when he was in law school. A protégé of Thelonius Monk alumnus Victor Gaskin, Wei's musical career skyrocketed after his first gig at a hotel lounge in Singapore two decades ago.
Wei's piano-performance credits span major cities around the world with the biggest names in jazz, including Grammy-award nominees and winners Brian Lynch, Stanley Jordan and Dave Samuels, to name a few. His playing has been lauded by piano virtuoso Jean-Michel Pile as "ruthlessly inventive." Wei's music is informed by a lifelong commitment to jazz knowledge and history, while being inspired by all things interesting and meaningful in life.
While Wei's work has taken him around the world, he is deeply committed to community work. He has supported in depth many charitable associations with interests ranging from helping elephant orphans in Kenya, to supporting children with special needs in Singapore. Wei was named "New Yorker of the Week" in 2008, by news channel NY1, for his performance in homeless shelters.
As an academic, Wei taught as an adjunct professor in New York University and was a full-time lecturer at LASALLE College of the Arts. Besides serving as Associate Music Director of JASS, Wei is also the Deputy Head of Music and Drama Company, overseeing a passionate team of talented artists and producers.
ORCHESTRA & REPERTOIRE MANAGER
Before joining the Jazz Association (Singapore) as our Resident Trumpeter and Orchestra & Repertoire Manager, Benny served as a Principal Trumpeter in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Central Band, and the SAF Big Band from 1998 to 2011.
In addition to his work at JASS, he actively performs with the Singapore Lyric Opera. In the local musical scene, he has made a name for himself playing on multiple musicals, such as "West Side Story," "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and Singapore's production of "Chang & Eng." In the pop and commercial music industry, he has performed with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Sarah Brightman and Frances Yip.
He also played in the Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra tribute shows, and played lead trumpet at Katherine Jenkins' and Patrizio Buanne's concerts in Singapore.
Benny has also performed in ensembles including the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and the SSO Brass Quintet.
In addition to the Singapore projects, Benny has also performed overseas on several occasions. As part of the Thomson Big Band, he represented Singapore at the International Association of Jazz Education conference in Canada and Jazz Yatra ("Jazz Pilgrimage") in Bombay, and played at the Borneo Jazz Festival, EFG London Jazz Festival, and most recently, in early 2019, at the Jazz Education Network (JEN) COnference in Reno, with the Jazz Association Singapore Orchestra (JASSO).
Benny's jazz experiences have taken him around the world, and given him the opportunities to learn from and play alongside jazz masters such as Wynton Marsalis and Randy Brecker.
JAZZ ASSOCIATION SINGAPORE ORCHESTRA (JASSO)
The formation of our main orchestra, the Jazz Association Singapore Orchestra (JASSO), brings together some of the best Singaporean and Singapore-based jazz musicians. It comprises around 20 professional jazz musicians, with a few outstanding members from our youth orchestra.
JAZZ ASSOCIATION SINGAPORE YOUTH ORCHESTRA (JASSYO!)
Our youth wing, the Jazz Association Singapore Youth Orchestra (JASSYO!), was set up with the objectives of engaging and developing our youth musicians, nurturing their talents, and grooming the future generations of jazz musicians. It comprises around 20 jazz musicians below the age of 35.