DROP by at Mezze Lounge tomorrow for an evening of high quality jazz with the eminent Michael Veerapen Trio featuring Cheryl Tan, KL’s bright new jazz talent fresh out of Brooklyn University.
There will be some very familiar standards (Nature Boy, Girl From Ipanema), not-so-standards (And The Angels Sing, Back In Your Own Backyard), some Latin music and some P. Ramlee classics.
Veerapen’s trio also comprises bassist Daniel Foong and drummer Gary Gideon, two distinguished names in local music scene.
Tan, whose full name is Tan Yin Yi, is a versatile vocalist who chooses not to accept the limits of genre and rejects the notion that singers are not musicians. She has performed in New York, Japan, Singapore and San Jose.
Starting out as an actor at 15, Tan has been in shows such as Little Violet And The Angel, Enemy Of The People and the original smash hit run of Broadway Parodies Lah.
After spending a year in La Salle College Of The Arts’ musical theatre programme, she transferred to Wesleyan University where she double-majored in theatre and music, studying with the likes of Anthony Braxton, Alvin Lucier, Noah Baerman and Jay Hoggard.
A fascination with Japanese drums took her to Brooklyn where she became a taiko apprentice under Kaoru Watanabe, formerly of Kodo. She helped organise the North American Taiko Conference and co-ordinated the Eastern Taiko Conference before turning to jazz, studying with Downbeat rising-star vibraphonist Chris Dingman and Lennie Tristano-protege Connie Crothers.
While in Brooklyn, she performed with hip hop group The Blue Belts and jazz outfit the Sam Friedman Quartet, and appeared in two operas and a play. She once sang with Bobby McFerrin and Chick Corea at the Blue Note.
Since returning last October, Tan has played at The Venue, No Black Tie, Mezze and Nerofico among others with musicians such as Veerapen, Az Samad, Foong, John Dip Silas and Zahid Ahmad.
She is part of two new musical projects launched recently, The Malaysian Music Project and The Satay Trio.
Tan believes in utilising the entire breadth of sound available to create a unique vocal palate. In striving to deepen her understanding of rhythm and harmony, she has begun to settle into her identity as a true musician.
Mezze Lounge is at Jalan Kasah, Medan Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. Showtime is 9.30pm. Call 03-2095 0122.