SINGAPORE — When we heard jazz artiste Melissa Tham perform with the Christy Smith Quartet at the Singapore International Jazz Festival earlier this year, the singer’s rich, emotive vocals made jazz music seem far more accessible than one thought possible. Interestingly, while Tham comes across as your regular, endearing Singaporean girl — who is not afraid to flaunt it — with a love of jazz, she likes “all kinds of music, lah”.
“It’s nice sometimes when I listen to something on YouTube, or someone tells me to check some person out,” said the 29-year-old. “But I’ve always felt most at home with jazz or, specifically, swing. I like that feeling when I listen to Frank Sinatra — that swagger. I really like that feeling because it makes me feel so shiok!”
Bob Belden, a jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger, bandleader and record producer who was both a historian of the music and a force in moving it forward, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 58
He died three days after having a heart attack, said his sister, Beth Belden Harmstone.
Engaged and opinionated, Mr. Belden was part reformist and part conservationist. As a bandleader and record maker, he often looked for ways to connect the jazz tradition to other energies. In February he performed in Tehran with his group Animation, in a concert brought about in part by the American nonprofit organization Search for Common Ground. It was the first time an American musician had played in Iran since 1979.