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NUS Centre For the Arts

For immediate release

Peabody Jazz Ensemble brings a dash of Baltimore arts

Talented students, alumni from Johns Hopkins University perform this July

SINGAPORE, 27 MAY 2010 ­ For almost a decade, a 2001 memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University has ensured many exchanges of musical talents. This July, don't miss the Peabody Jazz Ensemble's free concert, co-presented by NUS Centre For the Arts and the NUS Alumni Office. Handpicked by Gary Thomas, Director of Jazz Studies at Peabody and Richard and Elizabeth Case Endowed Professor in Jazz, the Ensemble embodies the drive, talent and promise nurtured by the Baltimore-based Peabody Institute. Peabody, which has been turning out top quality musicians for over 150 years, has a rigorous, performance-oriented educational environment that demands the highest artistic standards. The ensemble's vocalist, 21 year old Amanda Bloom, was self-taught until she began her studies at Peabody. Discovering her love for jazz at age ten, Amanda began playing the alto sax but was inspired by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan to become a jazz vocalist. The ensemble's percussionist, Jonathan Baez (18), and guitarist, Kevin B. Clark (20), were both finalists for the Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Jazz Ensembles, selected from cities across the United States, Canada and Mexico. A Peabody alumnus of 2009, pianist Jacob Silver will pursue a Masters of Music in Jazz Piano Performance at the Manhattan School of Music later this year. Bassist and Peabody alumnus, Blake Meister is currently a faculty member at the Peabody Preparatory, teaching jazz piano and double bass, among others. Clark, Meister and Silver were part of a sextet of Peabody students and alumni invited to perform in Kawasaki, Japan in January of this year. The Peabody Jazz Ensemble will also perform at NUS' Kent Ridge Homecoming 2010. More information is available in Annex 4. Sponsored by the Shaw Foundation, this concert is the fourth of the Ones to Watch series. Aimed at introducing young, gifted and vibrant performers who inspire youth, this series has featured acclaimed US violinist Rachel Barton Pine (2007), Australia's Flinders Quartet (2008) and The Catz Quintet from St. Catherine's College, University of Oxford, UK (2009).

50 Kent Ridge Crescent Singapore 119279 Tel: (65) 6516 2492 Fax: (65) 6874 1002 Website: www.nus.edu.sg/cfa

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NUS Centre For the Arts

NUS Centre For the Arts and NUS Alumni Office Proudly Present Ones to Watch: Peabody Jazz Ensemble

Friday, 9 July 2010, 7pm Shaw Foundation Alumni House Auditorium Sponsored by Shaw Foundation Free admission Registration will open starting 1 June 2010. Registration for maximum of 4 seats only. Seats are on a first-come-first-served basis. To register, please visit www.alumnet.nus.edu.sg For enquiries on registration, please email [email protected] or call 6516 6950.

Media Enquiries

For interview arrangements or more information, please contact: Dinah Ng Marketing Communications 6516 1223 [email protected] Adeline Tan Marketing Communications (Media) 6516 6787 / 9138 8691 [email protected]

Please refer to the following annexes for more information Annex 1: Musicians' Biographies Annex 2: Musicians' Images Annex 3: About The Peabody Institute and Jazz Studies at Peabody Annex 4: About the Organizers

50 Kent Ridge Crescent Singapore 119279 Tel: (65) 6516 2492 Fax: (65) 6874 1002 Website: www.nus.edu.sg/cfa

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NUS Centre For the Arts

Annex 1

Musicians' Biographies

Amanda Bloom (Vocalist)

Amanda Bloom is a jazz vocalist (age 21) from Weston, Connecticut, currently living in Baltimore, Maryland. Amanda first discovered her love of jazz at 10 when she began playing the alto saxophone. Soon after, she changed her focus to developing herself as a vocalist through her love of learning the standards as sung by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan. Amanda's early influences of jazz vocalists taught her the impact of emotionally connecting to the lyrics of a song. Self-taught until she began her studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University, Amanda has been working on combining sensitive interpretation of song lyrics with the added complexity of instrumental improvisation using her voice. Amanda freelances around Baltimore and performs frequently with the Peabody Jazz Orchestra and Peabody Latin Ensemble. Amanda is currently pursuing her bachelor of music degree in jazz vocal performance under the guidance of Jay Clayton, Gary Thomas and Tim Murphy.

Kevin B. Clark (Guitarist)

Kevin B. Clark is a jazz guitarist from Long Island, currently residing in Baltimore. He began his musical studies on guitar at age 13, concentrating primarily on jazz by the time he was 15. He has performed with groups such as the Peabody Jazz Orchestra, the Peabody Improvisation and Multimedia Ensemble, the Garden City Jazz Ensemble, the Nassau-Suffolk Jazz Ensemble and the Adelphi University High School Jazz Combo. In 2008, Kevin performed at the North Texas State Jazz Festival where he earned an Outstanding Soloist award. He was also a finalist for the 2008 Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Jazz Ensemble, which accepted applicants from the United States, Canada and Mexico. Other awards Kevin has earned include the 2008 Louis Armstrong Jazz award from Garden City High School, the 2008 Barry Manilow Music Scholarship from Garden City High School and the 2008 Max Corzilius Jazz Scholarship from the Peabody Conservatory. In 2010, he played three concerts in Kawasaki, Japan, representing the city of Baltimore. Kevin's primary teachers have included Paul Bollenback, Stephen Salerno, and Jimi Durso. He has performed with numerous premier jazz artists, including John Abercrombie, Peter Erskine, Gary Thomas, David Binney, Jack Wilkins and Dave Pietro. Kevin is currently a bachelor of music student at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he studies with Paul Bollenback.

50 Kent Ridge Crescent Singapore 119279 Tel: (65) 6516 2492 Fax: (65) 6874 1002 Website: www.nus.edu.sg/cfa

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NUS Centre For the Arts

Jonathan Baez (Percussionist)

Jazz percussionist Jonathan Baez, a native of Rockville Centre, New York, began playing drums at age ten. Throughout his high school career, he was a member of the Nassau Suffolk Jazz Ensemble, the Nassau All-County Jazz Ensemble, the Adelphi University High School Jazz Combo and was an alternate for the All State Jazz Ensemble. He was also selected as a finalist for the 2009 Grammy Jazz Ensemble as well as the 2009 Jazz Band of America. While playing with the Adelphi Jazz Combo, Jonathan traveled to the North Texas Jazz Festival where he received Outstanding Soloist awards as well as placing first in the combo competition in both 2008 and 2009. Jonathan attended the five week performance program at Berklee College of Music during the summers of 2007 and 2008 on scholarship. Jonathan has studied with Frank Bellucci, Jim Black and Dan Weiss. He has been fortunate to perform with jazz artists Gene Bertoncini, David Binney, Steve Salerno and David Lobenstein. He is currently a freshman at The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University where he is in the studio of Nasar Abadey.

Jacob Silver (Pianist)

Pianist and composer Jacob Silver was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. After enrolling in the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University as a jazz percussion major, he switched to piano in his sophomore year. Once he completed his undergraduate study there, he continued on to receive a Graduate Performance Diploma studying with Tim Murphy. He also received the William and Nancy Nurenburg Endowed Scholarship in Piano. Later this year, he will be attending the Manhattan School of Music to pursue his Master of Music degree in Jazz Piano Performance.

Blake Meister (Bassist)

A Jazz Studies graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Meister went on to earn his Master's of Music degree at Catholic University of America in orchestral double bass, on a full-tuition scholarship. While at Peabody, Meister was the winner of both the Richard Franko Goldman and Alice and Leary Taylor awards for performance as well as the Career Development Grant. Meister has studied with Ira Gold, Tim Murphy, Michael Formanek, Paul Johnson, and Gary Thomas. He has performed with international jazz and classical artists, as well as orchestras, including the American Studio Orchestra, the York Symphony and as acting principal with the Prince George Philharmonic. He currently serves on the faculty of the Peabody Preparatory, teaching jazz piano, double bass, a theory course and an ensemble. He is also active as both a composer and an arranger.

50 Kent Ridge Crescent Singapore 119279 Tel: (65) 6516 2492 Fax: (65) 6874 1002 Website: www.nus.edu.sg/cfa

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NUS Centre For the Arts

Annex 2: Musicians' Images

The following are images of the Peabody Jazz Ensemble. High resolution images are available upon request. Amanda Bloom (Vocalist)

Jonathan Baez (Percussionist)

Jacob Silver (Pianist)

Kevin B. Clark (Guitarist)

Blake Meister (Bassist)

(High-res image pending)

50 Kent Ridge Crescent Singapore 119279 Tel: (65) 6516 2492 Fax: (65) 6874 1002 Website: www.nus.edu.sg/cfa

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NUS Centre For the Arts

Annex 3: About The Peabody Institute and Jazz Studies at Peabody

George Peabody believed in the power of the artist to open the minds and enrich the lives of others. The Peabody Institute, which he founded in 1857, is the practical embodiment of this belief. From its beginnings, it has brought together a community of artists, teachers and scholars to train other artists and to spread, by their precept and example, an understanding of what the arts can do to uplift the quality of human life. Today, the Peabody Institute concentrates primarily on music. Through its constituent divisions, the Preparatory and the Conservatory, it trains musicians of every age and at every level, from small children to seasoned professionals, from dedicated amateurs to winners of international competitions. It challenges all its students to aspire to their highest potential as artists and human beings. It seeks to promote a respect for music as a discipline of the mind and spirit, a joyful affirmation of life and a passionate commitment to an ideal. By connecting its students with the great traditions of the past, Peabody gives them the key with which to unlock the future. Peabody's Bachelor of Music program in Jazz Performance is designed to equip motivated students with the professional tools to pursue a career in jazz and related areas of contemporary music. Distinctive in its focus on preparing students to become both creative musicians and skilled entrepreneurs, the Jazz Department at Peabody cultivates a rigorous, performance-oriented educational environment that demands adherence to the highest artistic standards. Its mission is to provide each student with a thorough technical, conceptual and historical comprehension of jazz and its musical siblings. The curriculum includes one-on-one instrumental or vocal study; improvisation study in workshop settings; both small and large ensemble configurations and classes in theory, ear-training, jazz keyboard skills, arranging and composition, history and other subjects. Master classes and lecture/performances feature renowned artists who share their expertise and provide insight into the art form's continual technical and conceptual evolution. The Director of Jazz Studies is tenor saxophonist and flautist Gary Thomas, Richard and Elizabeth Case Endowed Professor in Jazz, who leads the Peabody Improvisation and Multimedia Ensemble. Thomas, who has been with the program since its inception, has played with Betty Carter, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, and many other major figures. Two of his recordings as a leader were among Downbeat Magazine's best of the 1990s. The other faculty artists, all of whom lead active careers as performers, are drummer Nasar Abadey; guitarist Paul Bollenback; vocalist Jay Clayton; bassist Michael Formanek, who leads the Peabody Jazz Orchestra; trumpeter Donvonté McCoy and pianist Timothy Murphy, who leads the Peabody Latin Jazz Ensemble.

50 Kent Ridge Crescent Singapore 119279 Tel: (65) 6516 2492 Fax: (65) 6874 1002 Website: www.nus.edu.sg/cfa

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Annex 4: About the Organisers

NUS Centre For the Arts (CFA)

Established in 1993, NUS Centre For the Arts (CFA) is a multifaceted arts organisation that nurtures triple arts ­ performing, visual and literary ­ on campus and beyond. CFA's three main functions are in the areas of management, programmes and education. As the creative cradle of the University, CFA manages 23 student and alumni groups in music, dance, theatre, visual arts, filmmaking and production. Apart from talent management, CFA also manages the major arts facilities on campus: University Cultural Centre (UCC) and CFA Studios. CFA's forte also includes its skill in programming campus based performances for a wide audience, to inject vitality into campus life. CFA's performing arts programmes can be categorised into these major platforms:

NUS Arts Festival: With the best campus talents and professional acts, this festival has something for everyone in the campus' laidback milieu. ExxonMobil Campus Concerts: A free concert series, showcasing both student and established talents ­ sponsored by ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd since 1986. Ones to Watch: This platform introduces young, talented, vibrant performers who engage and inspire youth. The year 2007 saw the first performance of this series ­ a recital by worldclass American violinist, Rachel Barton Pine. 2008 saw the Flinders Quartet from Australia and in 2009, The Catz Quintet from the UK.

CFA also organises events such as poetry readings and film screenings, education programming such as instrumental music courses and examinations. Located within UCC, NUS Museum, an institution of CFA, currently houses several major permanent collections such as the Lee Kong Chian Collection, the South and Southeast Asian Collection, the Ng Eng Teng Collection and the Straits Chinese Collection at Baba House (157 Neil Road). It is committed to ensuring the collections of the University are accurately interpreted, effectively displayed, carefully preserved, and actively promoted for the enjoyment and benefit of the NUS community as well as the wider Singapore community and foreign visitors. For more information, visit www.nus.edu.sg/cfa.

50 Kent Ridge Crescent Singapore 119279 Tel: (65) 6516 2492 Fax: (65) 6874 1002 Website: www.nus.edu.sg/cfa

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NUS Alumni Office

The NUS Alumni Office was established in 1989 to engage alumni as key stakeholders of the NUS community. In January 2003, the Office of Alumni and Community Relations (ACR) as it was then known, was reorganised into two different departments ­ the NUS Alumni Office and the NUS Development Office. This corporate restructuring gave renewed focus to alumni relations and was the impetus to the great strides made in the strengthening of bonds between alumni and alma mater during the past 8 years. In line with the 2003 restructuring, the NUS Alumni Office moved from its cramped office at the basement of the Yusof Ishak House to the former Kent Ridge Hall. This interim alumni house was officially opened on 12 July 2003 and served as its temporary home while the permanent Alumni House was being completed. The increased space available for alumni usage served as a prototype for the NUS Alumni Office in the planning and implementation of services and facilities and allowed it to review and improve its strategic plans, formulate new initiatives and enhance existing programmes. This ensured that the NUS Alumni Office was well prepared prior to the move to its permanent home, which happened a few years later. A quantum leap in alumni relations took place on 20 March 2009 with the official opening of the Alumni Complex by Minister Mentor and Eminent Alumnus, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. The Alumni Complex comprises the Shaw Foundation Alumni House and the revamped NUSS Kent Ridge Guild House. The NUS Alumni Office is the key University department that engages its 202,000 alumni from 100 countries. Asia-Pacific's first purpose-built alumni centre ­ the Shaw Foundation Alumni House ­ is managed by the NUS Alumni Office. This iconic building is a tangible testament of the University's firm commitment to alumni and is dedicated to recognising the alumni as key stakeholders in NUS' global aspirations.

NUS Homecoming @ Kent Ridge 2010

Homecoming is an annual marquee event that welcomes all NUS alumni back to their alma mater. Homecoming @ Kent Ridge 2010 will bring NUS alumni together to relive their campus days and not only revisit their past favourite haunts but to update themselves on the developments on campus. The wide variety of programmes will also be hosted at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House from lectures and concerts to children's programmes. This event will be specially organized for the class of 1995 and 2005.

5th and 15th Anniversary Reunion Dinner - Inviting all Alumni from the Class of 1995 or 2005

Come celebrate your 5th and 15th Anniversary Reunion over dinner and a jazz performance by the Peabody Jazz Ensemble! Saturday, 10th July 2010 6 pm to 9 pm Shaw Foundation Alumni House $25 per person (includes dinner) Evening Programme Cocktails | Concert by Peabody Jazz Ensemble | Reunion Dinner For more enquiries, please contact Kim at 6516 5769 or [email protected]

50 Kent Ridge Crescent Singapore 119279 Tel: (65) 6516 2492 Fax: (65) 6874 1002 Website: www.nus.edu.sg/cfa

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