While headliner act for the night was the vocal powerhouse, Jessie J, Sing Jazz 2015 also showcased over 250 artists. We highlight 3 bands that should have your attention.

Last weekend, the Singapore Jazz Festival 2015 (also known as Sing Jazz 2015) returned to the Event Plaza at Marina Bay Sands. The stage was all jazzed up for three straight days of great and groovy tunes performed by a stellar line-up of local and international acts across genres. It may be a jazz festival, but it also celebrates the influence jazz has in other genres from soul to vocal play.

Thanks to Sing Jazz, I’ve discovered several talented acts that I’ve now got my eye on and have already promptly bookmarked on my iPhone, all while having sips of natural artesian Fiji Water.

Blitz and Squash

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When the New Orleans style Brass Band came marching in, all heads turned and all eyes were fixed on them – and for good reason. The vivacious brass band which hails from Osaka, Japan, was keeping spirits high between sets, entertaining the crowd with hip-hop, jazz, funk and latin music. Not to mention, these guys had some sleek moves to boot as they moved around the Event Plaza, up and down steps to really get everyone moving and grooving.

 

 

Naturally 7

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“Everything you hear is made with the human voice.”

And that was how the set began, with lush crooning harmonies intermixed with sounds from musical instruments like the blare of a horn, complicated solo riffs from a guitar and even booming bass notes and energetic drum beats. It’s hard to believe that not a single musical instrument was used for this performance, unless the instrument you’re referring to is the human voice box. Heads were bobbing to the beat, bodies swaying in rhythm, as they went from rap, to soul, to funk, to gospel influenced compositions. The chemistry on stage between this band of brothers was just spectacular and you won’t understand how good they are until you see them with your own eyes. Naturally 7 is nothing short of an a capella phenomenon.

 

 

Snarky Puppy

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Snarky Puppy, a once “underground” fusion jazz band, is no longer a hidden gem and has grown a cult following after winning a Grammy and earning countless praises from critics be it the BBC, Boston Herald or the Guardian. The band brings together a remarkable smooth mish-mash of funk, old and new school R&B, as well as traditional jazz and even the shyest of Singaporeans were smiling and nodding along to the amazing music.

The band also had Magda Giannikou, from Athens, Greece, join in the fun with them. She did an interactive sing-along set, urging the Sing Jazz 2015 crowd to join in and sing along to a simple (or… maybe not that simple) “ba-da-da-da” jazzy part of the song while she crooned and played her accordian with great gusto. Also, band leader, Michael League, set the light hearted tone and the Snarky Puppy set was also overflowing with humour and plenty of chill vibes.