Saturday, September 05, 2009

Back In NYC...

After a loooonnnnggg flight, I'm finally back in New York City.

It had been quite an interesting summer back in Malaysia, played a lot of gigs, ATE a lot of food, and met a few people. I guess my one regret is that I didn't get to spend as much time with the folks as I should have. Booked myself silly.. not necessarily the best idea. Probably won't try booking myself too much the next time around, and maybe will get the chill a little.

Flight to New York was much longer this time.. just because I had to take China Airlines. Flight to Taipei for transit was cool, although in-flight entertainment was rather limited, we got our own screens, but no on-demand. Then had to stay in Taipei overnight, which was alright, as I got to catch up with some old friends who were staying there now, and of course, ate a lot! Then from Taipei we actually flew to Anchorage instead (this wasn't in the itinerary), and the food wasn't as good, and the in-flight entertainment was worse. A general TV screen for everyone, and you can't even choose your channel(!).. dang!! Oh yeah.. I tried to ask for an aisle seat, but couldn't, only got window seat. But what was NOT cool was that I got seated NEXT to the emergency exit, which meant smaller leg space! Blardy hell.

Anchorage, in ALASKA (yes I finally got a small taste of Alaska!) was a short stop, got to see some nice mountain-top view (will post pics later), and also did the immigration there instead of JFK. So Anchorage turned out to be a domestic transit, so that was a good thing. But plane still sucked.

Now, I'm back sitting on my bed in my rented room in this house in Jackson Heights.. and it's back to my other 'life' now.

Welcome back Jules, to NYC! *and why the hell am I talking to myself?*

Time to get workin'..


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Last summer shows!

Man.. time flies like a Japanese bullet train. It wasn't long ago, that I am back for summer holidays, and now the holidays are almost over. I had a lot of fun (and not-so-fun stuff, too) while I was back here. A lot of things transpired this past three months that have had a great effect on me. And I was working a lot.. like crazy actually! The moment I got home, I was already out for rehearsals for the WVC Trio + 1 concerts (and album recording), and trying to fight off jetlag at the same time... and everything else after that.

Anyway, I just wanted to update my last few shows before I fly off back to New York for another (almost) full year to finish my studies:

14 - 15 Aug (Fri & Sat, 10:30pm, free admission) : The Q Sound @ Alexis Bistro, Ampang

28 - 29 Aug (Fri & Sat, 10:30pm, free admission) : The Julian Chan Quartet @ Alexis Bistro, Ampang.

That's it for the summer break.. wasn't much of a break, really.. but I definitely had fun being back home in my comfortable bed, with home-cooked food, and simply just Malaysian food! Woooohhhh!!

Anyway, hope to catch you at the shows. Do come by and say hi. I may look like I will eat you, but I'm a big soft cuddly person inside (puts on Shrek's Puss in Boots beady cat eye looks!). ;)



Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Malaysian road users..

... can be a real stupid lot (myself not excluded) sometimes.

Here I was walking back to my car in this small town road in Kajang, and there was traffic halt from stopping at the red light.. that's normal. Then I heard an ambulance siren going off like nobody's business.. and guess what?

No one's moving.

There's plenty of room to move aside for some of them, but do they move? NoooOOoooOo...

It only takes one person to move, and enable others to move as well. Civic-mindedness my butt. Oh wait, do they still teach that in school these days? Or don't they know what it is anymore? See, Education Minister.. having Moral Education is a waste of money and resources. And here you guys are squirming your heads around teaching subjects in English or Malay (I know.. no relation, since it's Science and Maths). Teaching something well is the main priority. Obviously the education system here fails in that respect. Sorry to say. Ok, this has no relation to this post, but who cares, right?

So yeah, back to road users. Imagine if one of your loved ones is the one who's in emergency, and you're not moving for the ambulance to move to pick him/her up. It's YOUR fault.. yes...

.... YOURS!

Don't wait for other people to move. If you can do it first, then do it, dammit. You might save a life, or two.


Monday, July 27, 2009

WVC Trio + 1 latest album "ELEVEN" is out!!

Hi all,

I'm proud to announce here that WVC Trio + 1's latest recording effort, "ELEVEN" is out! And I'm also proud to say that I'm grateful that I've been given an opportunity to be also a part of this effort, thanks to my band mates, Vincent Ong, Tay Cher Siang and Adam Osmianski.

This CD features a fantastic line-up, a Malaysian-American connection, consisting of Tay Cher Siang (piano), Vincent Ong (bass), Adam Osmianski (drums), and myself on saxophones. All the tunes are original compositions from Cher Siang, Adam and Vincent. (NB: Next one I will definitely have at least one of mine in!)

Here is the song list in the album:

1. The Art of the Wind-Up Alarm Clock
2. Hunger Strike
3. Standing in the Rain on Euclid Ave.
4. Little Steps
5. Merry Go 'Round
6. Caipifruta
7. Dawn
8. Cherish the Siamese Twins
9. Golden Monkey
10. Strollin' in One Town
11. Rhumba for a Sad Sad Witch

You can listen to some of the new compositions that are not included in the album from Here is the link:

You can get this CD at Rock Corner at Bangsar Village and One Utama, also Tower Records at Lot 10! Otherwise you can personally get it from me, by sending me an email or giving me a call at +6012-2732378 (Malaysia) or +1-646-886-9688 (US, but only from September).

Hope to hear from you!

Support Malaysian music!!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Upcoming shows!

Hi all,

I know I haven't been really diligent in updating my blog.. truth be told... I got lazy, because I got too busy! LOL! Sorry, y'all.. but anyway, just to keep this blog rolling a bit, I've got some gig updates. Hope to see you at some of the shows this week!

29/7 Michael Veerapen Quartet @ No Black Tie 9.30pm

30/7 John Thomas' Powderful Quartet @ Groove Junction 10pm

31/7 & 1/8 Julian Chan's Boplicity @ Alexis Bistro and Wine Bar 10.30pm

More updates soon, so stay tuned!

Remember, do drop by and say hi... and support Live Music & Jazz in Malaysia!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Summer break..

Hah, I can't believe the next post after my "Spring Break" post is my SUMMER BREAK post.. lol! Sorry lah damn kau busy here in school..

Anyway, I'll be back in Malaysia for the summer again, and I can't wait for it too, in fact. One of the things I'm looking forward to is having the time to practice at home (where I can practice as loud and as long as I want! Muahaha!), hanging out with my family and my friends (who to me are family too!), go running, walking with my dogs, eat GREAT Malaysian food, and of course... PERFORMING! Hehe.. me being the stage whore I am, I've already worked out quite a few shows back in Kuala Lumpur, and also in some other parts of Malaysia too (stay tuned for that one!).

Some of the highlights of my summer break performances will include some really kick-a$$ concerts:

June 2 (Tues) WVC Trio + 1 Live at Pentas 1 (KLPac).

July 2 - 4 (Fri - Sun) Inner Voices Production Presents - "Let's Go Mamak.. AGAIN!".

July 9 - 10 (Thu - Fri) Barry Cooper Sextet @ Alexis Bistro

..and a whole bunch of my favorite musicians at some of the different venues in Kuala Lumpur and other parts of Malaysia.

Most importantly, I look forward to getting together with my closest friends (of whom most of them are musicians too!) and hang out and make some music together.

Do stay tuned here, or join me on Tweeter, where you can keep track of what I'm doing as well.

So, to promote the first big concert I'm playing..

WVC Trio + 1 @ KLPac Pentas 1.

WVC TRiO +1 will present a full concert in KLPac covering varieties of styles and premiering many brand new original compositions penned by members of the group. Experience this vibrant and original concert on June 2nd 2009 Tuesday 8.30pm, at KL Pac only.

WVC Trio + 1 is

Tay Cher Siang - piano
Adam - drums
Vincent Ong - double bass

and + 1 is Julian Chan on saxophones. ;)

Location link:

Call or email for concert passes.

Public RM40, Student RM35.

Cher Siang 017-3643202

Adam 012-6040216

Vincent 012-3909828

Julian 012-2732378 / (after 28 May).

Note: KLPac is not selling the tickets directly, so call us at the above details to directly get your tickets!

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Spring break

Wow... talk about not updating my blog for ages.

Well, my apologies for that, really. That's how much stuff I have going right now, really.. until I really could not find the time to write. And that is a good thing, actually, from my standpoint. There's just so much stuff happening, and stuff I have to work on, that I can't spend time to blog. Anyway, it's spring break right now, so we've got a week and a half off from school. But if you're a music student, you'll know right away it's not really going to be a break at all. That's because a music student's (or a musician, really!) life is really music, music, and more music. For us, well, it's a lot more on trying to finish (or start) working on our assignments more than anything else. Practicing... well, that happens pretty much all the time, irregardless. But that's the life. Dig it, or find a new one.

Anyway, I suppose I should update about what's been happening since my last post.. which was Chinese New Year (lol!).

One of the more significant things that has happened to me is the fact that I have experienced some breakthroughs, where my studies are concerned. All the stuff I've been learning for the past year, I am beginning to comprehend much more, than when I first came here (or even after the first year). I'm not sure how that worked, but I do know now that it did, and I'm so happy and thankful for that. Can't say it was an easy, bed-o-roses process though... been through some emotional and mental pitfalls along the way. To say the least, right now it's mostly down to just practicing the stuff, and getting it in my head and in my fingers. Of course, there's still so much stuff left, even after that... but I believe I'm learning to deal with it better now (I hope!). I feel so much more focused than before, and I basically understand what I have to work on for real, this time. I've got so much information that will basically last me a long while to practice.

For other stuff, well... probably one of the only thing(s) worth mentioning is that I did a gig in a real established jazz bar in NYC called 55 Bar late February. It's a small place (really small), but it's been around for a little bit. I think Mike Stern plays there on a fairly regular basis (I haven't seen him play there, though). I played there with a good friend of mine and Chern Hwei's, Michelle Marie, a guitarist. It was scary, as it was probably my first Manhattan gig, at an established jazz joint. Although for the moment, I don't mind being the sideman, first. LOL! I believe we will have another show there sometime late April... yee haa!!

Another interesting thing I managed to do was to watch Phil Woods play at Dizzy's Club Coca-cola at Jazz @ Lincoln Center. For those who don't know, Phil Woods is a legendary saxophone player, who in all our books, is considered up there along with the rest of the jazz legends. Mr. Woods is known by many to be a Charlie Parker "disciple" on the alto sax, and with what he has experienced, he may very well be. To cut the story short, Phil has met AND hung out with Bird in his younger days (and even let Bird play his horn). Of course, Mr.Woods' sound and approach to playing is a cumulative development of studying the various masters (Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter, etc) as well as an extension of his own personality.

Anyway, as for other stuff, well.. there's nothing really much happening, other than me just being in school practicing and working on some of the work, really. NY is too expensive to make it hip and happening for me. My life here (socially, at least) is probably less interesting than back home in Malaysia. Here, I'm just interested to study and work on my sh*t and expose myself to great music, and great musicians.. and make sure I learn my stuff, real good! I'll probably worry about the rest later.

Still miss Malaysian food, though.. the real deal, that is. Still prefer my share of banana leaf, thosai, and even good chinese (vegetarian) food, without busting a giant hole in my small wallet.

I've started running a lot more now, and since I've already registered for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009 for half distance (that's happening at the end of June), I've definitely started to train for it. So I can't wait till Spring clears up well, and good, and I'd get my butt out there running!

I think that's it for now... will try to update more a little later, when I can.

By the way, I'm back in KL from 28th May for summer holidays, and gigs galore! Can't wait...



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Better late..

.. than never!


To everyone, Chinese and non-Chinese alike...



Gong Xi Gong Xi!

I hope that this year will be a productive one, despite the predictions and all, in more ways than one. I also hope that above all else, health and family be the top priority on your list.. not just this year, but all the time.. and also the quest for spiritual enlightenment!

This will probably be my second CNY that I won't be home with family and friends, and it's this time I'm really feeling the pinch of not being there. But I feel my heart is closer now to those back home now, than it ever was.

Have a good one everyone!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Congratulations PRESIDENT OBAMA!

As I'm writing this, I'm logged into watching what was the Inauguration of the 44th President of the USA, President Barack Hussein Obama.

This has been quite a historic moment for the US, as well as the world, as President Obama is the first ever African-American President of the United States. The moments leading to his success in the election was long and hard, but all worth it. Unfortunately I missed the announcement of the presidential election (I was stuck in the 7 train on the way back home). But of course, notice of his success in the election did not fall short to my of the train supervisors, a black lady, was basically screaming in happiness while making train stop announcements on the PA in the train! But one thing was certain, I felt thankful that I am in the US during this historical moment in world history.

But thanks to along with Facebook, a lot of people in the US, as well as all over the world was given the opportunity to watch the Inauguration, so it was quite a blast. At the same time, you've got friends on FB logged in watching the inauguration, and leaving comments on status updates, etc. Quite something I tell ya.. if you missed it.. SOOOO too bad for ya. LOL! By the way, you can check out President Obama's inauguration speech at, so do check it out if you missed it. It was really inspiring.

Anyway, on a more serious note, we just have to pray this will bring some change to the US as well as the world, with President Obama on the helm. God knows, they need it! When you learn about some of the problems here in the US, you can't help thinking how difficult it is being here, and trying to survive here. It's not easy. All the points that President Obama mentioned in his speech, problems in key areas in the social level in America, such as poor medical care, welfare, etc, are all real. In New York, it's even more apparent. Unless you have money to afford medical insurance, one cannot afford to get sick here, or else you'd pay a bomb for getting medical treatment. And something as simple as just a little jab for cold could cost you hundreds of dollars!

In many ways, I'm actually pretty grateful about my own country Malaysia, despite whatever is happening now on the political front. It has been relatively peaceful and stable (well, not so much now anyway), but one knows that it would not last for long. But however, I choose to remain practical and optimistic about Malaysia's future, and I pray that the sea of change will be for good!

And lastly,


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

US Boycott?

I just read the news today about Malaysian Muslims boycotting US products to protest the US involvement in the Israel attacks on Gaza.

What's the point?

I mean, I don't disagree with the Malaysian Muslims' point of view on it. But I don't see how boycotting US products will help. For one thing, the rest of the country probably wouldn't follow suit. We're so hooked to all these US-based products in our daily lives.

Boycott Starbucks? Hah.. very unlikely.

Boycotting US products in Malaysia also would not probably make any difference in thought on American soil. Hell, most Americans don't even know where Malaysia is. I've even been asked, "Is Malaysia like a swamp area?". Shows you how ignorant they are. And the thing is, most US made products are locally made, too! Boycott Coca-Cola? Are you guys nuts? Coke in Malaysia is manufactured in Malaysia.. the brand is American.. but their products are made local for locals. So if you're boycotting them, you're only crippling our local industry. Correct me if I'm wrong. Do you think they'd actually import the drink from America?? If so, you won't be paying RM1.50 for a can of Coke (is that the going price now?). Even if you're successful in boycotting a particular US product, how much of that will cripple the business in the US, that comes from Malaysia.

Not much I gather. It'd probably be like an ant bite. Or a mozzie bite.

I think there are ways to get our opinions heard. Boycotting US goods is not one of them. You'd find you might be hurting our local businesses more than sending a message across (which probably won't reach, anyway!).

Get real, people! Look at the bigger picture!