Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My new band.. BOPLICITY!



BOPLICITY, a new jazz outfit formed by upcoming saxophonist, Julian Chan, brings more bop music into the Malaysian music fold, when he saw the need to expose this usually unexplored territiory of Jazz music, to the ears of the growing Malaysian Jazz audience. Concentrating on the various styles of bop – ranging from the bebop, hardbop and even to the more contemporary sounds of post-bop – BOPLICITY sticks true to what is known as the “Blue Note” sound-style band – two horns (sax and trumpet), with a piano, bass, and drums rhythm section.

BOPLICITY is Julian Chan on saxophones/flute, Eddie Wen on trumpet and flugelhorns, Vincent Ong on double bass, Martin Ngim on drums, and Cher Siang on piano.


Julian Chan started playing the saxophone at 14, but only began playing professionally at the age of 21, after graduating in a degree in accounting from Perth, Western Australia. He began taking lessons from Malaysian-based English top jazz saxophonist Greg Lyons, after his return from his studies, and began playing in his various ensembles such as the 19-piece Emergency Break Ensemble, the jazz-funk band Biophonics, and The Greg Lyons Nonet, a 9-piece ensemble featuring Greg’s compositions and arrangements. Julian also played with various KL jazz luminaries, such as The David Gomes Quartet/Quintet, Julian Chan and David Gomes’ The KL Hardbop Band, Jose Thomas’ Groove Unction, Michael Veerapen, Farid Ali and more.

Currently, Julian runs several bands, from the (now defunct) Happy People Quintet, The Julian Chan Quartet, as well as The KL Hardbop Band (a collaboration between Julian Chan and David Gomes, featuring various hardbop-based music as well as David’s original compositions).


Eddie Wen started playing trumpet from high school, playing in high school bands, moving up to the local symphonic orchestras in KL, such as the PJ Youth Symphonic Band, KL Symphony Orchestra, The National Symphonic Orchestra, RTM Orchestra, Shah Alam Municipal Council Orchestra, and the Petronas Performing Arts Group. His path to jazz started out when he began learning and playing with Greg Lyons’ Biophonics in 2001, and eventually joining in Julian Chan’s Happy People Quintet. He then began playing in various other ensembles from Greg Lyon’s Nonet, jazz latino band Ireson, The David Gomes Quintet, The KL Hardbop Band and more.


A graduate of the International College of Music, Vincent started playing bass professionally when he was still in college, and eventually formed his own band Black Machine in 2000, and eventually GruvAvenue in 2005 (and recorded their self-titled debut album). Vincent has played in various settings and in various hotel lounges, and club performances, as well as different jazz festivals in KL.

Vincent has performed with various jazz artistes such as David Gomes, pianist Hakan Rydin, Sharizan, Rachel Guerzo, and various local jazz artistes.


A relatively newcomer to the jazz scene, Martin began playing drums from 23. Starting out playing in funeral bands, he then moved on to playing drums in commercial bands in various top-40 pubs in and around town. Later on, Martin started to take lessons from top Malaysian drummer Lewis Pragasam, and joined some of his Asiabeat percussion ensembles in various shows. His foray into playing jazz began when he joined the JJ Jazz Ensemble in their debut concert in UPM, and played their subsequent shows in various clubs in town. Learning as he went along, he began playing in some jazz groups in KL, such as the Happy People Quintet, Julian Chan Quartet, Rachel Guerzo, Greg Lyons’ MezzaJazz.

and introducing


Tay Cher Siang started his piano lessons just like most people, learning classical music. He took up an interest in Jazz during his teenage years and began to pursue his musical journey as a jazz pianist. He received his Bachelor's degree in Piano Performance from West Virginia University and continued to get his Masters Degree in Jazz Pedagogy, studying under Dr. Miltenberger and Professor Scea.

His achievements include winning the WVU Young Artist Competition in 2004, recipient of the HERF Top-Off Award and the Valerie Canady Award. He was the Graduate Assistant for the Jazz Department in WVU where he got the chance to direct the college's Jazz Big Band and various Small Group Ensembles.

Throughout the years, Mr. Tay performed regularly as a soloist, as well as with ensembles such as the WVU Big Band, the Mon River Big Band, the Jenny Menna Trio, the Washington Street Jazz Band, and the WVU Wind Symphony Orchestra. He also performed regularly in Malaysia, China , and the United States.

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The band debuts tonight at No Black Tie from 10pm onwards. Check out our new website, Enter Boplicity! for more details!

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