Shanghai Jazz, Malaysian style

Lee with some of the musicians she will be performing with next week.

MALAYSIAN chanteuse Janet Lee, often called the ‘Shanghai Jazz Queen’, for her performances, has just released her second album, Cinnabar Rouge, and will be showcasing it at a two-day concert in the Damansara Performing Arts Centre on April 20 and 21.

The album, which she calls a Shanghai Jazz fantasy project, features ten covers and two original compositions by Tay Cher Siang, with lyrics by poet Chiew Ruoh Peng, in three languages — Mandarin, Malay and French.

Lee has been collaborating with long-time music director Tay Cher Siang since 2007 and they made the decision to record Cinnabar Rouge less than a year after Lee’s debut, Restless Heart, also produced by Tay.

“I thought it would be a great idea to work on the second album while I ride on what’s left of the momentum from Restless Heart, which was dedicated to Shanghai jazz works that Tay and I have worked closely on for years.

“I wanted a documentation of our Shanghai Jazz musical expression that was uniquely Malaysian,” she said.

“It also seems like the perfect way to celebrate my 40th birthday this year; my 13th year in my music career. It represents one of my most important repertoires — Shanghai Jazz — but in true Malaysian style, like a spicy rojak, with different languages and contrasting musical styles,” Lee said, adding that the concert was going to be a birthday bash she wouldn’t forget.

Next week’s Cinnabar Rouge - A Cabaret by Janet Lee will be directed by Nell Ng, with music direction by Tay, choreograpy from Jojo Wong, featuring an ensemble cast and a seven-piece band (WVC – Malaysian Jazz Ensemble).

The musicians include Tay (keys), AJ Popshuvit (bass), KJ Wong (drums), Julian Chan (sax), Khairul Anwar (trumpet), Dennis Law (second keyboard) and Muhammad Nazrin.

Tickets priced at RM150 and RM120 (inclusive of GST) are on sale at the DPAC website ( as well as via phone booking at 017-695 6708. Showtime starts at 8.30pm.

For more information, visit Cinnabar Rouge - A Cabaret by Janet Lee’s Facebook event page.


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