What happens when two of the nation’s foremost jazz and pop stars take the stage together? You have a party on your hands. You’re also made keenly aware of the phenomenal talent that the Singapore shores are abound with. This is exactly what happened when Nathan Hartono and Joanna Dong juggled emcee duties with a set of compelling jazz standards at the recent Jazz Association (JASS) Benefit Gala 2022.
Held at the Shangri-La Singapore, the pair, alongside King of Swing Jeremy Monteiro and the Jazz Association Singapore orchestras, serenaded some 500 donors, sponsors and supporters with Sinatra’s Night and Day, It Had to Be You, Come fly with Me, and Dong’s now signature rendition of Wo Yao Ni De Ai.
The first full-fledged in-person gala held by an arts company in Singapore since the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, the JASS Benefit Gala 2022 was a triple celebration of Monteiro’s 45th career-anniversary, the 121st birthday of jazz legend Louis Armstrong, and the 6th anniversary of the Jazz Association (Singapore).
Graced by Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, and well-attended by Singapore’s high society as well as members of the diplomatic corps, the gala raised more than $700,000 this year. The annual benefit raises funds to support its mission of nurturing jazz excellence and building Singapore into a city of jazz.
“Our journey at JASS is just beginning,” said Monteiro, Executive Director and Music Director of JASS. “To date, we have supported nine scholars in their jazz studies both in Singapore and overseas. We are also continuing with our work to support eligible jazz musicians impacted by crisis through the JASS Crisis Fund.”
“Looking ahead, JASS will strengthen our community outreach, ensuring jazz continues to be inclusive and reaches people of all ages. This will be done through partnerships, e.g. 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.”