This end-July’s Jazz Association (JASS) Benefit Gala 2022 did not just raise over $700,000, it was also a triple celebration for the organisation.
It commemorated JASS’s upcoming 6th anniversary celebration, JASS co-founder and Singapore’s “King of Swing” Jeremy Monteiro’s 45th career anniversary, and the 121st birthday of late jazz legend Louis Armstrong. The gala was the first full-fledged one organised by an arts company since the easing of Covid-19 measures in April 2022.
Held at the Shangri-La Singapore’s Island Ballroom, the event was graced by Minister Indranee Rajah, and attended by over 500 guests. Themed Swing It!, it featured an elegant dinner that kicked off with a speech by Susan Peh, the organisation’s vice-chairman and gala committee chairman. “We are very touched and extremely grateful to our donors and sponsors for their generosity towards JASS. The economic situation remains challenging. As a young arts company, JASS needs all the help it can get to fulfil its mission of building Singapore into a vibrant global city of jazz,” said the lawyer.
As expected, the night was filled with delightful performances – local pop idols Nathan Hartono and Joanna Dong belted out jazzy classics to tunes by Monteiro together with the JASS orchestras.
Monteiro, who serves as executive director and music director of JASS, also added, “In just six years, we have not only pursued excellence in jazz, we have also reached out to over half a million audiences in Singapore and across the world, making jazz accessible to people of all ages. Through our JASS Scholarship Programme, we are also developing young jazz talent. To date, we have supported nine scholars in their jazz studies both in Singapore and overseas. We are also continuing with our work support eligible jazz musicians impacted by crisis through the JASS Crisis Fund.”
Looking ahead, Monteiro revealed plans to strengthen JASS’ community outreach to ensure that jazz continues to be inclusive and reaches people of all ages. “This will be done through partnerships with organisations such as ART:DIS (previously known as Very Special Arts). We also want to catalyse symphonic jazz – bringing jazz musicians and classical musicians together. This way, we are not only drawing the music community closer, we are also bringing together the community and the lovers of both orchestral and jazz music within this new enlarged space.”
Click through the gallery to view all the attendees: