THE concept of a Jazzy Christmas that Jeremy Monteiro dreamed up two decades ago will play to its final full house at the Esplanade Concert Hall this weekend.
The ongoing series of Yuletide merriment organised with the Esplanade has built up a regular following in that time.
“Some people say they don’t get into the Christmas spirit till they’ve attended the Jazzy Christmas show,” Jeremy says.
Next year onwards, they’ll have to find new ways to fire up the holiday spirit.
Article continues after the video interview with Jeremy Monteiro.
After 15 shows — a few gap years, notwithstanding — the Jazzy Christmas One More Once! bows out on 16 December.
And Jeremy will have a long list of guests, many who have played a part in Jazzy Christmases past: Carmen Bradford, Melissa Tham, Michael Veerapen. Some oldies but goodies like Stardust, Tama Goh and the big bands will also be onstage. And new faces, of course, for that has been one of Jeremy’s major roles as a musician; mentoring and showcasing the future of jazz music in Singapore.
Song For A New Era
For the final show, Jeremy has also composed a brand new Christmas song, with words by Jim Aitchison, his collaborator on the 1990 national song, One People, One Nation, One Singapore.
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The new song has a straightforward title: I Wish The World A Happy Christmas.
Unlike what the title suggests, the song has a deeper message for people and a call to action: To do more than cerebrate the global challenges in other parts of the world while we live in relative insulated bliss in Singapore.
The Toils Of The Showman
“It’s been great to be able to perform to full houses and to bring different concepts to the Esplanade, but it’s been tough for me,” Jeremy recalls.
“It’s almost like my own mini National Day Parade,” he says, in terms of conceptualising and coordinating a show with many moving parts.
There are different concepts — from New Orleans to duets to big bands and many in between — and all manner of odds and ends to tie up to get a show of this scale going.
All that ate into Jeremy’s own holiday spirit. He still enjoys his whiskey, occasionally, and food, constantly, but the mind is still exhausted from all the post-event details that need to be dealt with.
“By the time I unwind it can sometimes be well into Christmas,” he says.
While he’s retiring the Jazzy Christmas series, Jeremy is still keeping busy with various projects that will keep the music flowing.
He’s the gift that keeps on giving.