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For the 14th edition of his Jazzy Christmas series, Singapore’s King of Swing Jeremy Monteiro returned to Esplanade’s stage with a rare ensemble of homegrown and international jazz artists.
Taking on beloved classics such as My Favourite Things, Sweet & Lovely, and The Way You Look Tonight, the jazz icon was accompanied by the powerhouse vocals of Vanessa Rubin and Antonia Bennett. The star-studded line-up was completed by Tanya Darby who contributed her sensational trumpet chops, acclaimed trombonist Marques Young, Monteiro’s long-time collaborator Shawn Kelley on drums, together with younger talents such as up-and-coming Singaporean saxophonist Sean Hong Wei and bassist Ben Poh.
Featuring Jeremy Monteiro himself as Music Director, A Sweet & Lovely Jazzy Christmas was performed and filmed live at Esplanade Concert Hall on 21 December 2019.
Jeremy Monteiro is the first Southeast Asian to play and lead a band of established musicians at the Montreux Jazz Festival held in Switzerland. The 2002 Cultural Medallion recipient has performed and/or recorded with the likes of James Moody, Michael , Lee Ritenour, Toots Thielemans and Simon & Garfunkel among many others.
Vanessa Rubin has been described as "a song stylist with a Midas touch for challenging material”. Since her debut, she has released a total of nine albums, including her latest The Dream Is You: Vanessa Rubin Sings Tadd Dameron in 2019.
Antonia Bennett has performed alongside American music icons such as Rosemary Clooney, Count Basie, Regis Philbin and Don Rickles. She is the daughter of legendary crooner Tony Bennett.
Tanya Darby has performed and toured with diverse artists and ensembles, including the prestigious Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Ron Carter Great Big Band, Dianne Reeves and many more. She currently chairs the Brass Department at Berklee College of Music.
Marques Young has shared the stage with prominent jazz musicians such as Benny Golson, and Wynton Marsalis. He released his first solo EP Citizenship in 2016.
Sean Hong Wei has emerged as one of Singapore’s most promising young jazz musicians. He performs regularly with the Jazz Association Singapore Youth Orchestra (!) as well as its main orchestra JASSO.
Ben Poh studied and played bass under the tutelage of the celebrated Christy Smith. He completed his BA(Hons) Music in Jazz Performance at LASALLE College of the Arts with First Class Honours.
Shawn Kelley was born and raised in New York where he trained under jazz greats Ron Carter, John Lewis, and Sonny Igoe. He has toured, recorded and performed with artists such as Ernie Watts and Leroy Jones.