As the only tertiary jazz group that houses its own big band, vocal ensemble, and combo bands, the NUS Jazz Band delivers rich brews of indulgent and captivating jazz music from swing to soul, fusion to funk, bossa to blues.

The NUS Jazz Band was formed in 1994 by a group of dynamic musicians and jazz enthusiasts with a love for the bossa, blues, swing, bebop, fusion, ragtime, soul and arrangements from the traditional to the contemporary. Frequently exploring a plethora of arrangements and improvisations, ranging from traditional to progressive compositions, the band’s musical versatility has enabled many performances in various settings, such as corporate engagements and its series of annual sold-out concerts.

Members of the NUS Jazz Band network and grow under the tutelage of distinguished international jazz musicians, who serve as regular tutors to the group. With jam sessions, workshops, theory lessons and master classes, the NUS Jazz Band is a beacon to those passionate about jazz music.

Key Past Events

  • 2010Performance for Youth Olympics Games Singapore at Marina Promontory
  • 2014NUS ExxonMobil Campus Concerts highlight Jazzology
  • 2015NUS Arts Festival opening show Words and Music: A Love Story Told in Jazz with Jeremy Monteiro and Rani Singam
  • 2015Performance at Singapore-Germany Jubilee Concert at the Singapore Botanic Gardens
  • 2016Annual concert Groovin' Hard
  • 2017Annual concert Feelin' Good
  • 2018Annual concert The Groove Merchant

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TUTOR'S BIO

Chok Kerong

Music Director

Chok Kerong has established himself as one of Singapore’s most versatile talents. Committed to jazz, the pianist and organist has performed with artists such as Steve Wilson, John Riley, Yotam Silberstein and Alex Sipiagin. Chok’s arrangements and compositions have been performed by luminaries like Jeremy Monteiro, Rani Singam, the T’ang Quartet, the Singapore Wind Symphony, The Jazz Association of Singapore Youth Orchestra, and his own chamber ensemble ELEVEN. Disquiet, commissioned by the Singapore Symphony Group for the Victoria Concert Hall Organ Series, is Chok’s first chamber work for pipe organ and strings, and was performed by eminent organist Dr Margaret Chen in August 2017. Most recently, his compositions were featured in Hong Kong as part of ‘Departure’, a chamber ensemble project helmed by guitarist and composer Teriver Cheung.

Chok’s current working band with guitarist Andrew Lim and drummer Soh Wen Ming is regarded as one of the finest ensembles to emerge from Singapore. The organ trio’s music reflects the members’ deep dedication to swing, the blues, and an aesthetic that favours authenticity above all. In 2016, the trio became the first Singaporean ensemble to perform at the world renowned Tokyo Jazz Festival. Tales They Told Me, Chok’s second album as a leader, features this trio, and was released in July 2017.

Chok also works outside the straight ahead jazz scene, most notably as the organist/ keyboardist for eminent singer-songwriter Charlie Lim, where Chok’s many influences coalesce with his foundational sensibility as a pop musician. On Lim’s critically acclaimed double EP Time/Space, he channels the spirit of the early jazz masters on Blah Blah Blues, adds shades of gospel on Bitter and contributes a melancholic arrangement for strings that accompanies Light Breaks In. He has also been working actively with Red Roof Records as music director, arranger and pianist for rising star vocalist Joanna Dong.

An active educator, Chok is the Music Director of the National University of Singapore Jazz Band, and is an instructor at LASALLE College of the Arts and School of the Arts (SOTA). He also mentors young jazz musicians as part of the Esplanade’s ‘Mosaic Jazz Fellows’ programme.

Chok is a Mosaic Associate Artist, whom the Esplanade has committed to providing tailored, intensive support. (Image by Benjamin Ong)

TUTOR'S BIO

Tan Chin Boo

Resident Conductor

Tan Chin Boo has 35 years of professional music experience. A self-taught drummer/ percussionist, he obtained an Honours degree in Electronic Music & Commercial Music Arranging (Berklee College of Music, USA), sponsored by Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). He later joined SBC (now known as MediaCorp) as their Music Director / Conductor and then became the Head of Audio Post.

After 15 years lecturing full-time in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, he had since opted for an adjunct position in April 2015 so as to devote more time teaching drums and music, as well as performing. Chin Boo was the coach of SingJazz Youth Big Band for SingJazz Festival 2015; preparing members for the masterclass cum workshop conducted by internationally acclaimed artists.