Malaysia has a growing Chinese jazz scene

by - 15:07

Did you know that there is actually a growing Chinese jazz music scene in Malaysia?

For the past eight years, local company Pop Pop Music has been championing the cause for Chinese jazz music. Since it started out as a niche music label in 2008, Pop Pop has grown into a major corporate entertainment provider with a stable of promising singers and rising stars, dealing predominantly in concerts and corporate shows featuring Chinese and English jazz classics.

Three of Pop Pop’s most talented singers – May Mow, Celist Chow and Nutserlar Lim – will take the stage Sept 11 at the Pop Pop All Stars Concert in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, which promises a night of music, entertainment and good food.

“Pop Pop has been aggressively promoting Chinese jazz over the last eight years, but we’ve mostly been known in the inner jazz circle. We think it is high time we tried to penetrate the mainstream market,” said Leslie Loh, CEO of Pop Pop Music during a press conference to promote the event.

The concert will have a theme of four genres – Shanghai jazz, retro pop music, English jazz standards and Chinese classics. “The reason for this is because we wanted a wider range of genres for people to enjoy, and not just Shanghai jazz, which is a little overdone in Malaysia,” Loh said.

“This year is actually the first time Pop Pop is venturing into English retro pop, because we feel the market is promising.”

Celist Chow may mow

The three singers at the concert are signed under the Pop Pop group and are all seasoned concert performers, according to Loh. “All three of them have undergone rigorous training and rehearsals to be able to give good live performances,” said Loh, adding that the music director for the show is the well-known local jazz musician Tay Cher Siang.

Having joined Pop Pop in 2014, May Mow is the darling of the label, with a voice that is said to be a cross between Taiwanese singer-songwriter Joanna Wong and veteran Taiwanese songstress Cai Qin. “For the concert, I will be singing a selected songlist of Shanghai jazz oldies,” she said.

Her fellow performer Chow was a finalist in Astro Star Quest 2014, and will be performing a selection of English retro pop numbers.

“I am really looking forward to the show, as this will be the first time the three of us will be performing on the same stage,” she said.

Last but not least, Lim will be performing English jazz standards. Lim – who joined Pop Pop early this year – has performed with May Mow before in the latter’s recent Exquisite Chinese Oldies Reimagined showcase in March.

Each of the three singers will perform their own solo segments first, before taking the stage together for the concert’s finale.

According to Tropicana Golf And Country Resort events and promotions manager James Sai, this is the first time the resort is working with Pop Pop Music to showcase local artistes in the jazz and retro pop genre.

“We wanted to introduce something different to our events, and to bring some English and Chinese jazz into the scene,” he said. “We hope to be pioneers in helping to grow the Chinese jazz scene.”

The Pop Pop All Stars Concert will be held at the Tropicana Gold Club Grand Ballroom in PJ. Showtime is at 7.30pm. Ticket prices are inclusive of dinner, and are available by tables of 10 or single seats. For more information, call 012-208 3790.

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