THE Penang Celebrates: Christmas with Jazz @ St Jo’s concert in Gurney Paragon Mall served up a night of groovy melodies.
Two illustrious ensembles played a mix of festive carols, timeless classics and original numbers, delighting the several hundred strong crowd.
It included award-winning pianist, songwriter, composer and producer Aubrey Suwito, joined by his sister Juwita Suwito, Patrick Leong and Elvira Arul.
Singapore’s King of Swing and Cultural Medallion recipient Jeremy Monteiro delivered the other set with his Generations Band which featured guest performers Alemay Fernandez and Louis Soliano.
Audiences, who filled up the Festive Square open air space in front of the St Jo’s building, responded with rapturous applause after each number.
The free concert marked the start of the Penang Celebrates series of events initiated by the state government.
State Tourism Development, Heritage, Culture and Arts Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said the series was in response to the Penang Island Jazz Festival being called off after a 14-year run, which disappointed many music lovers.
“There will be more to come. This is in line with the state’s direction to strengthen Penang as a potpourri of art, heritage and cultural diversity.
“Tonight is also an opportunity for music lovers and jazz enthusiasts from the state and elsewhere to get together and celebrate the festive season.
“We also want to encourage the growth of the music scene which is key to Penang’s vibrancy,” Yeoh highlighted in his speech.
Paul Augustin, who was among the organisers, said the night’s featured bands had different tones and styles but complemented each other.
“Seldom do you get two top bands like these playing in Penang. As Christmas is traditionally associated with lots of music, this enhances the festive atmosphere,” he added.
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