ACCESSIBLE: Concert by Northern Jazz Ensemble plays to full houses over three nights
GEORGE TOWN : MOVIE theme music recently received a jazzed-up treatment from the Northern Jazz Ensemble (NJE) in a three-day musical extravaganza here.
The two-hour concert themed Jazzworks/The Movies played to full houses at the Penangpac, Straits Quay over the first two nights, while the third and final concert was a boon for jazz and music lovers.
Organiser and conductor of the NJE, Jerome Quah, said the concert was meant to bring awareness and appreciation of jazz music to the man in the street.
“We wanted to make jazz accessible to the general public through performing classic and entertaining movie themes with a jazz twist,” he said.
Quah added that the concert was also meant to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the NJE which now has 23 members ranging in ages from 12 to 60 years. It is probably the biggest jazz orchestra in Penang.
Though the music was tinged with nostalgia, the young musicians had no problem in collaborating with their senior counterparts in producing the splendid music from years past.
“It was also an opportune time to promote big band music to the public by playing great music that has withstood the test of time,” said Quah, who is a keyboardist and also a freelance music instructor.
Guest artistes Andy Siti Nurhidayah, Damien Chew, the Georgetown Singers, Ronald de Leon & Sons and Moses Chuah were among the illustrious line-up for the shows.
The familiar tunes heard included Gonna Fly Now, Singing In The Rain, My Favourite Things, The Shadow of Your Smile, New York, New York, a remixed Pink Panther theme, Pure Imagination, Pick Yourself Up and Mamma Mia!, all performed by the NJE.
Ronald de Leon and his talented sons entertained with Over the Rainbow, Por Una Cabeza and Everybody Wants to be a Cat.
Moses Chuah came out strongly with I Wish You Love from the movie The Eye of the Beholder.
Performances by the popular duo of Andy Siti Nurhidayah and Damien Chew enraptured the audience, with Andy Siti paying tribute to the late Whitney Houston with her stirring rendition of I Will Always Love You.
Returning for an encore, the NJE obliged with the much-loved Perfidia.