Esplanade Presents


A Change of Plans: Contrafacts and Vocalese

The Contra Band Project (Singapore)

6 Jul 2024, Sat, 3.30pm & 4.30pm


(Intermission: None)

Esplanade Concourse


A Change of Plans: Contrafacts and Vocalese


What does a singer do when they like a song a lot, but it's not quite written for a singer? They sing it anyway and add their own lyrics—that's vocalese. What does a composer do when they adore a tune's harmony a lot, but have some of their own ideas too? They keep the chords, write a new melody—that's a contrafact.


This project, led by pianist Rachma Lim and with collaborative creative direction from Sarah-Kei Lauw and guitarist Ernest Tan, is continuously evolving. Their guiding philosophy is to celebrate the common thread among jazz musicians—a love for new discoveries, for creativity and spontaneity, and for change(s).


Join their band as they showcase some of their favourite tunes (some of which may not be recognised as contrafacts!) like More and Mo's, Out of Nowhere and Nostalgia. Look forward to vocalese from the original pioneers like Annie Ross and Eddie Jefferson, to today's stars like Veronica Swift and Samara Joy, and featuring some of Sarah-Kei's very own vocalese lyrics. It's sure to be an afternoon of great fun and new surprises.


With a stellar sextet comprising:

Sarah-Kei Lauw, Vocals

Tete Saxman, Alto Sax

Ernest Tan, Guitar

Rachma Lim, Piano

Umar Zakaria, Double Bass

Nathaniel Ng, Drums


No tickets will be issued. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Language: English
Things to Note:
Accessibility Advisory: We provide a range of access services and relaxed performances for patrons with access needs. For wheelchair-accessible seats, please call Esplanade Customer Experience at 6828 8377 for assistance. Concessions for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and up to one accompanying companion are available. | View our accessibility guide
Artist Information

The Contra Band Project

The Contra Band Project began as the creative brainchild of Rachma Lim and Ernest Tan as they delved into the unique duo arrangement of piano and guitar. Upon joining forces with Sarah-Kei Lauw, they found a kindred spirit, and the added dimension of a singing voice. Their guiding philosophy is to celebrate the one thing that unites jazz musicians—a love for new discoveries, for spontaneity, and the ever-evolving nature of jazz. Together with Tete Saxman on saxophone, Umar Zakaria on double bass, and Nathaniel Ng on drums, they aim to convey the transcendent influence of music through each performance.

Date & Time

6 Jul 2024, Sat


Esplanade Concourse


Esplanade Concourse

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